McDonald's will not be making burgers called "Ron's Creamy Surprise" or "Rektal Prolapse"

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I'm loving it. McDonald's New Zealand created a site for people to "build your own unique burger" and name their creations. Problem is, the submissions appeared on the site without moderation. Read the rest

KFC's new meal box with a built-in battery to charge mobile devices

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KFC's new "Watt a Box" is a meal box with a built-in battery, micro-USB, and lightning cables to charge your smartphone. It's available as a special limited edition "prize" for customers at KFC stores in Delhi and Mumbai. BGR reviewed the Watt a Box. It's a fun marketing gimmick but, no surprise, the battery kinda sucks. They claim it's a 6,100mAh power bank but perhaps a better approach (and name) would have been a Bucket of Batteries. From BGR:

The power bank claims to have a 6,100mAh battery but the claims fell short during our brief test. We put an iPhone 5s to charge, which gained 17 percent battery after charging for half-an-hour. But the downside was that the power bank was drained during this process. We recharged the power bank to 100 percent and tried to charge a Redmi Note 3. But the power bank ran out of juice again with the phone gaining just 7 percent of charge...

KFC is not the only one to toy with such marketing campaigns. Pizza Hut came up with a limited edition box in Hong Kong that converted into a projector for smartphones. McDonald’s had launched a special edition of its Happy Meal boxes in Sweden that could be converted into cardboard VR headsets. Coca Cola too had a similar cardboard VR headset one could make from its 12-pack cartons.

"Hands-on with KFC’s ‘Watt a Box’ that charges your phone while you eat" (via Laughing Squid)

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Burger King installed a sauna

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Customers of a Burger King in downtown Helsinki, Finland can relax in an in-store sauna before enjoying the restaurant's fine cuisine. According to the restaurant chain's brand manager in Finland, Hanne-Mari Ahonen, the goal is to mix the local Finnish tradition of saunas with the universal taste of, er, a Whopper. You can also watch TV or play video games while shvitzing. Apparently food is not permitted in the sauna though.

"No, no, the sauna is for sweating it out, and our hamburgers taste all the better for it afterward," Ahonen said.

(CNN and AP)

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The chemical burn of Burger King's bizarre Angriest Whopper

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"It had a slightly antiseptic burn as if you spritzed the burger with some sort of acid spray," says Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler.

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Meet the reclusive heir in charge of the In-N-Out burger dynasty

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When the beloved West Coast burger chain In-N-Out opened a new store in Oregon recently, loyal fans showed up at 7 a.m. to get in line. Read the rest

Nihilist Arby's is the best thing on Twitter

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Follow it here. Read the rest

Watch: I was Ronald McDonald

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From 1995 to 2007, Joe Maggard was Ronald McDonald. "The clown is right in there. The clown is ready to go." Read the rest

Burger King's gothburger

Burger King has launched a black burger in Japan made from black peppered-beef, buns and cheese darkened with bamboo charcoal, and a topping of garlic sauce blackened with squid ink. Read the rest

McDonald's employee busted for selling heroin Happy Meals

Remember last year when the family of a four-year-old boy ordered him a Burger King Kids Meal and found a pot pipe packed with weed? Not to be outdone, an employee at a McDonald's in Pittsburgh, PA was busted selling heroin in Happy Meal boxes. According to police, Shantia Dennis, 26, told drive-through dope customers to use the code phrase: “I’d like to order a toy.” (WGHP) Read the rest

Special surprise in Burger King Kids Meal

The family of a four-year-old boy were surprised when they ordered a Kids Meal from a Dundee, Michigan Burger King and found a very special prize inside: a pot pipe packed with weed. From CBS Detroit:
After officers responded to the restaurant, they identified a 23-year-old employee who admitted to owning the paraphernalia. Uhl said the employee told officers that he put the pipe in the box to hide it while he worked and he didn’t mean to give it out.
"Family Finds Marijuana, Pipe In Burger King Kids Meal" Read the rest

Saving a classic 1950s Arby's sign

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, this 1950s Arby's sign was an icon of suburban life (before suburbia meant the former farmlands 40 minutes out from downtown.) In fact, just seeing this photo makes me hanker for a Beef'n Cheddar and Potato Cake (More specifically, the 1970s versions of those items. No Horsey Sauce though.) Sadly, the classic sign is in jeopardy. The Finneytown location where the sign stands tall is closed for remodeling and rebranding and the sign is slated for demolition. Community calls to Arby's resulted in the company offering to donate the sign to Cincinnati's excellent American Sign Museum. Once it's disassembled though, the Sign Museum still needs financial help to transport, repair, and install the sign at its new home.

"Support to Save the Finneytown Arby's Sign Grows" (Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest

The Godfather of chicken rings

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Silly question. But if you're talking about chicken as we know it today — barbecued, boneless and skinless, served as sausages, bologna, nuggets, and burgers — the answer is actually "neither". What came first was Robert C. Baker, a Cornell University food scientist who is credited with popularizing chicken as a convenient, everyday meat.

At Slate, Maryn McKenna has a really interesting piece about Baker's role in the invention of the chicken nugget. Although you've probably heard that the nugget was invented by McDonald's research and development staff, Baker actually beat them to the punch by a couple decades, turning out "chicken sticks" in 1963. The catch is that, as a researcher at a publicly funded university whose primary goal was to increase the profitability of family-operated chicken farms in upstate New York, Baker never patented his own ideas.

Baker’s prototype nugget, developed with student Joseph Marshall, mastered two food-engineering challenges: keeping ground meat together without putting a skin around it, and keeping batter attached to the meat despite the shrinkage caused by freezing and the explosive heat of frying. They solved the first problem by grinding raw chicken with salt and vinegar to draw out moisture, and then adding a binder of powdered milk and pulverized grains. They solved the second by shaping the sticks, freezing them, coating them in an eggy batter and cornflake crumbs, and then freezing them a second time to -10 degrees. With trial and error, the sticks stayed intact.

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Burger King breaches McDonald's

On Monday, the Burger King burst into a McDonald's restaurant in Rome, Georgia, handed out free hamburgers to customers, danced, and posted for photos with children. Managers called the police, but the Burger King escaped in a white Acura before the fuzz arrived. "Man dressed as Burger King visits West Rome McDonald’s" Read the rest