Two new restaurant expressions are cropping up in insiders’ conversations and outsiders’ coverage of the business. So grab your glossaries and a pencil, because both terms have the ring of possible additions to the lingo.
Fast fruit. You’d see that expression used today, for instance, on a headline about Burger King’s newest burger for the Japanese market, the BK Ringo. The sandwich’s point of difference is the flame-broiled slice of apple that garnishes the burger patty.
But the term could become the broadly applied label for products here in the States that provide a halo of health to familiar fast-food meals—truly a prime objective of chains large and small. Consider, for instance, the apple slices that are now offered by a number of limited-service players as a healthier alternative to French fries. Mandarin orange sections are serving the same purpose for Wendy’s.
And strawberries will no doubt be in the promotional limelight when they come into season in a few months.
Our handicapping of whether this will work its way into widespread usage: 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. But it’ll take considerable time.
Zipper. This is the bet-your-house option because it’s so dead-on as a descriptor for the new generation of drive-thrus.
If you haven’t seen them, they work sort of like the toll booths of highways, though with far fewer lanes. When you drive onto the restaurant pad, you can choose one of several drive-up ordering stations. Then the lanes are meshed into a single queue for the pay station, like the teeth of a zipper.
Our handicap: An 8 on this one.