Some (slightly) healthier choices at fast food restaurants

Mind Over Munch’s Alyssia offers a guide to some not-completely-terrible-for-you food choices at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts. She also has a guide to vegan fast food options that aren’t just salads:

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Bigot hotter than a grease fire after seeing McDonald's rainbow pride fry boxes

A McDonald's franchisee in Washington DC is celebrating Pride Month with fry boxes festooned with rainbows. That didn't sit well with televangelist Joshua Feuerstein: Read the rest

Meet Flippy, the burger-flipping robot

Miso Robotics' Flippy is a "kitchen assistant" robot that can grill, flip, prep, fry, and plate food.

“We focus on using AI and automation to solve the high pain points in restaurants and food prep," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "That’s the dull, dirty and dangerous work around the grill, the fryer, and other prep work like chopping onions. The idea is to help restaurants improve food quality and safety without requiring a major kitchen redesign.”

And what of those millions of people who flip burgers to make ends meet?

“Tasting food and creating recipes will always be the purview of a chef," says Flippy CEO David Zito. "And restaurants are gathering places where we go to interact with each other. Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business given the social aspects of food. We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.”

(TechCrunch via Laughing Squid)

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Taco Bell now has a wedding chapel in Las Vegas

Taco Bell will soon offer fully-catered weddings at its Las Vegas flagship restaurant. Key selling points of this elegant offering are that this Taco Bell Cantina location has a DJ booth, pours booze, and has big digital displays. The $600 wedding package includes:

• A ceremony in the chapel inside the restaurant with an ordained officiant within as little as four hours

• Private area for a reception inside the restaurant with up to 15 of your closest family and friends

• Custom merchandise, including a sauce packet garter and bow tie, “Just Married” t-shirts for the bride and groom, Taco Bell branded champagne flutes and, of course, a Taco 12 Pack filled with tacos and a Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert

• A Sauce Packet bouquet is also available for the bride to use during the ceremony

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Why is KFC a Christmas tradition in Japan?

Around Christmas, many KFC restaurants in Japan see 10 times their average daily sales. Customers order their KFC special Christmas dinner weeks in advance or wait in line for hours to score a Kentucky Christmas dinner package including chicken, side dishes, cake, and even wine. WTF??! Marketing, that's what. From the BBC:

According to KFC Japan spokeswoman Motoichi Nakatani, it started thanks to Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in the country. Shortly after it opened in 1970, Okawara woke up at midnight and jotted down an idea that came to him in a dream: a “party barrel” to be sold on Christmas.

Okawara dreamed up the idea after overhearing a couple of foreigners in his store talk about how they missed having turkey for Christmas, according to Nakatani. Okawara hoped a Christmas dinner of fried chicken could be a fine substitute, and so he began marketing his Party Barrel as a way to celebrate the holiday.

In 1974, KFC took the marketing plan national, calling it Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii, or Kentucky for Christmas. It took off quickly, and so did the Harvard-educated Okawara, who climbed through the company ranks and served as president and CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan from 1984 to 2002.

The Party Barrel for Christmas became almost immediately a national phenomenon, says Joonas Rokka, associate professor of marketing at Emlyon Business School in France. He has studied the KFC Christmas in Japan as a model promotions campaign.

“It filled a void,” Rokka says.

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Watch Warhol eat a Whopper

Andy Warhol eats a Whopper, from Jørgen Leth's 1982 documentary/art film "66 Scenes from America," a collection of moving "postcards" from the United States.

According to YouTube user Hidden Below, who posted this clip, Warhol eating the burger is "a classic ASMR trigger scene, so if you got ASMR you might wanna bookmark this video for a good time."

Noted.

(via Weird Universe)

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Chili's refused to honor Veteran's Day meal deal for black veteran (Update: Chili's apologizes, promises to make it right)

Chili's advertised free Veterans Day meals for service members. But not for black U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker, who shot video of a confrontation with a manager who refused to honor the deal. The man came up to his table and took his food from him.

I ordered the waitress was wonderful. It took about 35 mins for meal to come. So when it attived I gave her a Tip as asjed for a take out.

She said sure, at that point a old white guy wearing a Trump flag shirt walked buy me on hi way to the bath room. He came back and aked me what unit did i serve in the 24th. I said no the 25th.

He said he was in world war 2 in Germany and we did not see people like you over there. They would no allow blacks.

I just listened he left then came back to bathroom again and pet my dog. So waitress put foid in container.

Then the managers comes and says a somes guest at the restaurant say that your not a real Soldier. I reply what are you serious what guest.

The manager Wesly Patrick said can I see military ID. I felt that was reasonable I most people ask for that so I shoed him my ID it checked out.

At that point all he should have said was 'Sir I am sorry Thank you for your service and I would have left.

But instead ge says ' tbe guest also says that your service dog is not a service dog.

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

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

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

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

"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

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

Follow it here. Read the rest

Watch: I was Ronald McDonald

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

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