The Latest

Red Robin Crafts Catch-Up Strategies


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Beers calls its ongoing remodeling effort a “Brand Transformation,” but the transformation is encountering a few negative side effects. For Q4, the chain reported a 4.6% decline in customers, which a 2.6% increase in average check (1.9% from price) couldn’t cover, resulting in a 2%

Wendy’s Gives a QSR Tutorial

Wendy’s Gives a QSR Tutorial I want to look past the basics of Wendy’s Q4 and 2015 sales report on Tuesday, although those numbers were quite strong, as you’ve likely seen. North American company same-store sales were up 4.8% for the…

Burger of the Month Specials: Feb. 2016

Burger of the Month Specials: Feb. 2016 Happily, this wasn’t what I expected. With Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day crowded into February, I expected lots of Creole, Cupid and Honest Abe Burgers of the Month specials. And there are a few…

WesBurger: From Pop-Up to Prime Site

WesBurger: From Pop-Up to Prime Site For two years, Wes Rowe has been serving burgers at WesBurger, a pop-up open every Wednesday in San Francisco’s Mojo Bicycle Cafe. But in less than two months, Rowe will move from pop-up to bricks-and-mortar with…

The Week’s Most Intriguing Burgers 2/12

The Week’s Most Intriguing Burgers 2/12 The variety in this week’s burgers is especially appealing. There’s bison and brisket, slides and a breakfast sandwich, truffled mashed potatoes and Cheddar popcorn. When people ask what I mean by intriguing, I may just have…

Chicken Gets Burger-Style Extravagance

Chicken Gets Burger-Style Extravagance Chicken sandwiches finally are being let into the burger bar “club.” That acceptance is shown in chicken beginning to get the extravagant builds that previously was reserved for beef burgers. Certainly, chicken sandwiches (chicken breasts, as…

The Week’s Most Intriguing Burgers 1/29

Black Rebel Burger, Wood-Ridge, N.J.
Beef, Canadian lobster and house-made four-cheese mac n' cheese on a  scratch-baked bun

I can report to you that the state of the burger is strong, creative and fun. As evidence I point to the burgers here from burger bar and chain menus in the past week or so. January has proven to be an unexpectedly busy month for menu innovation, not just

Butter Becoming Burger Battleground


Burger joints can load up burgers with wild toppings. It’s part of  burgers’ charm. But one of the hottest ingredients seems to be a staple of any restaurant kitchen: butter. Burger King is testing an Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger—with the emphasis on BUTTERY in POP displays—according to GrubGrade. This is

McFrench Launch ‘American Winter’ Promo


American-themed menu promotions are staples of McDonald’s and Burger King marketing in Europe, but McDonald’s France has gone one better, giving new meaning to seasonal menu promotions with “American Winter,” a five-item LTO. This latest American-promotion nod comes while McDonald’s Italy is running its Great Tastes of America menu (with

McDonald’s Breakfasts on Strong Q4 Sales


McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook avoided the Dubya pitfall and refused to prematurely declare victory. He also resisted the temptation to gloat despite a year’s worth of snarky headlines doubting a turnaround and even Wall Street’s wary consensus expectation of only a 2.7% Q4 same-sales gain. In fact, McDonald’s delivered a

Steak ‘n Shake Freezes Menu Prices


Steak ‘n Shake will announce today that it will not raise menu prices in 2016. The move comes as other chains have been hiking menu prices to cover rising labor and other operational costs, as well as to compensate for soft customer traffic. For example, Shake Shack this month took

The Week’s Most Intriguing Burgers 1/22

King Marcel

To balance this week’s continuing discussion of U.S. value menus, I thought I’d close the week with some interesting burgers introduced outside the U.S. There are no discount burgers here; just full-throttle creative builds, including an El Chapo Burger from Canada. With buffalo, reindeer and prawn patties and toppings from

Carl’s Jr. Joins the $4 Bundle Battle

Carl's Jr. $4 Real Deal

Burger chains continue their wheeling and meal-dealing. Carl’s Jr. has upped the ante on what $4 gets you in a bundled value meal. Its $4 Real Deal offer: a Double Cheeseburger plus a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, small fries and a 16-oz. drink. That easily tops Wendy’s “4 for $4” meal,