Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Restaurant news you might've missed

BK has sweet treats for Brits, pink slips for Yanks
First there was the Whopper Bar, a more adult riff on the conventional Home of the Whopper. It focused on Whoppers, Whoppers and more Whoppers—sometimes combined into one dish (the “pizza” consists of three Whopper patties arrayed in a single layer, like pepperoni slices, on an oversized bun).

Now Burger King has unveiled another potential addition to its fold, hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. The freestanding Dessert Bar will feature BK-brand ice cream and mini-pancakes, according to the first report in the U.S. media.

The prototype is in London, which could keep it a European phenomenon. But Whopper Bars are already sprouting overseas.

The chain’s home office should have probably crowed louder about the venture. The ballyhoo might’ve drawn attention away from the news that BK’s new owner, Brazil-based 3G, is canning more than 400 people, just in time for the holidays. Reports of The King sharing a limo with Scrooge at the Dessert Bar opening have yet to be confirmed.

Friendly’s tries new menu & look
The venerable New England chain is reportedly spending $2 million to give its 17 restaurants in Albany, NY, a facelift and new food options. Details weren’t provided in the slew of local coverage, but one report did describe the new menu as “lighter.” That could be a good thing, judging from TV news coverage like this. Virtually every customer (and many of the servers) appears to be considerably overweight.

Among the items being tested are chicken wings, a turkey platter, a grilled chipotle-flavored chicken, and several new sandwiches, including a Caprese grilled-chicken option that packs just 400 calories. Otherwise, the least fattening of the trial choices is the smaller wings order, at 740 calories for six. But the menu does note that a grilled-chicken or vegetarian patty can replace the beef in any burger.

‘WARNING: Unroll at your own risk’
A Michigan courtroom may soon be turning a spotlight on a little-noticed restaurant danger: The toilet paper dispensers in the restrooms. A state court has cleared the way for a woman to pursue a lawsuit against a Texas Roadhouse in Detroit some three years after she suffered alleged injuries from a dispenser that had been left open. The woman says the lid of the device fell on her hand, breaking it.

‘Good gig, eh?’
A recent survey found that more than one in five Canadians found their first job at a restaurant. Apparently our neighbors to the North have a warmer picture of the business than we do. Seventy percent reportedly said the nation’s eateries are an important part of the economy, and 75% of the respondents who worked in restaurants characterized the experience as helpful in developing life skills. The study was sponsored by Kraft’s Canadian operation, so we doubt there were any questions about the loyalty that Starbucks has personified.

The importance of exorcising
We all know the locations: No matter what type of restaurant you put there, it bombs, usually quickly. Clearly the setting is cursed.

Rather than tempt the fates by meekly following four failures into a site in New York’s Chelsea area, the latest outlet of New York Burger Co. sought some divine help. It brought in a priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist spiritualist to bless the operation and stave off the demons of empty tables. Linda Blair has yet to put in an appearance, but plenty of reporters have, providing the newcomer with tremendous free publicity.

1 comment:

Freshendo: The Height of Freshness said...

Love the titles to your snippets, hehe. Really great stuff.