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Five Burger Trends for 2016

Five Burger Trends for 2016

My prediction for 2015 was for a Year of the Cheeseburger, meaning renewed popularity for classic, simple, top-quality burgers, and I think that has been one of this year’s most prominent narratives. OK, the forecast for more burger/coffee pairings may not have been prescient, but expectations that in-house pickling, breakfast burgers and non-meat burgers would […]

Sides Prove Profitable Check Builders

Sides Prove Profitable Check Builders

If the goal is to increase average checks, a popular means to that end for quick-service restaurants recently has been to bundle fries and a beverage with a burger to ensure that high-margin sides are purchased. An example is Wendy’s new “4 for $4 Meal”: Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, four chicken nuggets, small fries and a […]

Red Robin Fashions Trendy Fall Lineup

Red Robin Fashions Trendy Fall Lineup

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers again adds a seasonal burger for fall, but this year it also taps into two hot menu trends: topping burgers with hot dogs or sausage, and dressing up fries into entrée-size creations. Through Nov. 1, Red Robin puts a new item in its premium-price Finest burger lineup: the ÜberBurger. Carrying a […]

Trendspotting at the NRA Show

Trendspotting at the NRA Show

No one understands the foodservice business in the UK and Europe better than Peter Backman, managing director of London-based researcher Horizons. He also is one of the sharpest observers of the trends evident at the annual National Restaurant Association Show. Peter Backman was on the show floor for this year’s just-completed event as well and […]

Heat Wave: Burger Chains Get Super-Spicy

Heat Wave: Burger Chains Get Super-Spicy

Wendy’s next week introduces nationally the Jalapeňo Fresco Spicy Chicken Sandwich and its sidekick, Ghost Pepper Fries. These are the burger world’s latest attempt to see just how fiery a sandwich can be. Diners say, “Bring it on.” Wendy’s packs heat: the new chicken sandwich features an all-white-meat chicken breast topped with fresh, diced jalapeños […]

Jack in the Box Quietly Slides Upscale

Jack in the Box Quietly Slides Upscale

Overshadowed last week by the clamor of a management shift at McDonald’s Corp. were significant changes at one of Big Mac’s toughest competitors. Jack in The Box, the No. 5 burger chain, quietly moved its menu and its dining experience a notch more upscale, small shifts that will result in the repositioning of the brand […]

2015 Dawns with Patty Melt Parade

2015 Dawns with Patty Melt Parade

Is this going to be another big year for patty melts? I didn’t predict such a trend but the new year has begun with the appearance of several variations on the classic burger-and-cheese-on-toast concept. Among them: At the 15-location Burger 21 chain, a jazzed-up patty melt is the new special.  The build is it’s Certified […]

NRA Spots What’s Hot for 2015

NRA Spots What’s Hot for 2015

What will be hot in 2015 is pretty much just what has been trendy in the U.S. for the past few years. The National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” list, based on a survey of nearly 1,300 professional chefs in the American Culinary Federation spotlights some familiar ideas. This year’s top five food trends are: […]

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