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Random Food Report: Adam's McRib And Allah

1. A Class Without Class.

"For customers who've gone to Applebee's or IHOP lately and wondered just how much it cost to get tipsy, a class action pending in federal court in New Jersey could force the restaurants to cough up that information," reports.

But you'd have to admit that you not only went to an Applebee's or IHOP, but actually ordered a drink there.

2. That's Okay, Allah Did Not Make Eve From Adam's McRib Anyway.

"The search for food prepared according to Islamic law at fast-food restaurant chains just got a little trickier," AP reports.

"On Monday, McDonald's announced that its locations in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Mich., would stop serving halal food, which requires animals to be slaughtered according to Islamic practices and excludes prohibited items such as pork. The franchisees were the only two in the country to serve halal food.

"The move comes several weeks after a $700,000 settlement between McDonald's and a customer who filed a lawsuit in 2011 that alleged the menu items weren't consistently halal."

3. Coke Served In Bottles Made Of Ice.


4. Dunkin' Donuts Is Blowing It.

Our instincts (see item No. 2) were correct: our favorite donut-and-coffee chain is ruining a good thing because some corporate executive wants to make a mark. Of course, making a mark usually means you've hurt someone.

The latest, from AP:

Don't expect to see Dunkin' Donuts revive its famous "Time to make the doughnuts" ad campaign anytime soon.

Paul Carbone, chief financial officer for Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., said at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference Tuesday that the company gets asked all the time when it's going to bring back the ad starring the perpetually tired baker who gets up early every morning to make doughnuts.

"He's not coming back," Carbone said, noting that the chain's focus has shifted toward beverages, which are the "holy grail" when it comes to profitability. Hence the company's plans to stand by its "America Runs on Dunkin'" motto, which was launched in 2006.

In recent years, however, the chain has also been expanding its breakfast sandwiches, which Carbone said are "right below the beverages" in terms of profitability.

Dunkin', which has more than 7,300 U.S. locations, said in a recent presentation that both breakfast sandwiches and drinks have profit margins of more than 75 percent; the presentation didn't include the margins for doughnuts.

While we here at the Random Food Report desk have always loved Dunkin's coffee, it's a mistake to forget that it's a donut shop. The beauty of the coffee? Tastes like liquid donuts.

Nobody knows how to protect a brand anymore.

5. Harold And The Purple Chicken.

"Despite being a brand name that verges on the institutional, grease is just about the only thing that binds Chicago's 38 Harold's Chicken Shacks together," the Sun-Times reports.

"Thanks to the laissez-faire licensing model adopted by founder Harold Pierce, all but three restaurants are tied to the corporate Harold's in name, logo and recipe only - leaving those who run the brand with little recourse to force restaurants to modernize or change.

"The consequence: an erratic confederation of restaurants. Prices vary by location, as do menus, decor and chicken suppliers."

No wonder the Harold's in Wicker Park sucks so bad.

But the new strategy is double-edged: Yipsters blindly accept Harold's as great just because it's Harold's. So why force expensive quality control on franchises whose new customer base has no taste to begin with?

6. Managing Perfection.

Speaking of protecting the brand, Watermelon Oreos is not the way to do it.

7. Food Engineers At Work.

"Like a pair of pre-ripped jeans from Abercrombie or a distressed logo tee from Zazzle, America's food conglomerates are embracing a more easy breezy natural look when it comes to your food," Gawker notes.

"And as expected, making processed food seem unprocessed involves more processing.

"Responding to American's growing concern over over-processed food, engineers for Kraft, Wendy's, McDonald's Domino's and others are now increasingly attempting to give their products a homemade and real appearance."

8. Friendly's Is A Dumb Name Anyway.

"Joseph Gibson figured, of all places, he'd get treated with respect at a St. Louis establishment called Friendly's Sports Bar & Grill," Gawker notes.

"But his Father's Day outing was thoroughly ruined when he received the bill for his meal, only to find he had seemingly been charged for having 'fuckin' needy kids.'"

9. Little Chicago.

"A Chicago-style restaurant will open on the south side later this summer after receiving permission from the city's Plan Commission on Tuesday," the Sheboygan Press in Wisconsin reports.

"Pete's Little Chicago Restaurant will replace the former Osteria Nonna Maria at 1402 S. Eighth St. and will serve deep dish pizza, hot dogs, burgers and other items, owner Chris Balassi said."

10. Fast Freddy's.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburger only has two Illinois locations - Mattoon and Springfield. But it's exporting its Chicago hot dog nearly nationwide.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 27, 2013

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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