When you go to a fast food burger chain, the one side dish you can absolutely count on are fries. But for all the chopped and fried taters in the restaurant, one side is conspicuously missing from all but one: baked potatoes. Wendy’s baked potatoes might be even more famous than the chain’s fries. Customers load tubers up with chili, broccoli and cheese, sour cream and chives, and more. The “side” can get hefty enough to count as a meal of its own—each potato is about 11.5 ounces before adding toppings, according to Thrillist. Wendy’s sells a whopping 1 million baked potatoes every week, making it a pretty major revenue-builder for the company. So why haven’t more chains gotten on board? First of all, let’s go back to why Wendy’s started selling spuds in the first place. In the ’80s and ’90s, low-fat diets were all the rage. but there was definite appeal to replacing oil-drenched fries with a fat-free potato. Low-carb diets rose and fell, but the modest baked potato kept standing. We now know why “fat is bad”, but the baked potatoes are still a virtuous choice when you’re surrounded by fattier, saltier options. A regular baked potato has 270 calories, seven grams each of protein and fiber, and no fat to speak of. Ordering one with broccoli and cheese can add some green to your plate, too. Even loading a potato with cheese and bacon bits won’t put the 480-calorie side far off from the 420 calories in a medium order of fries, which only have five grams of fiber and six grams of protein. As health-conscious customers have made the push to fast food chains to serve more nutritious choices—most have side salads and apple slices—you’d think a plain baked potato would be a simple no-brainer. But for chains emphasizing the “fast” in “fast food,” it’s not that simple. “If you’ve ever cooked baked potatoes at home, you know it takes a while,” Lori Estrada, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation, tells Thrilist. “And we cook them from a raw state, in an oven, wrapped in foil, baked for an hour, just like you would at home.” Naturally, the cooking itself would take a lot of planning. But there’s also the matter of equipment. Fast food restaurants don’t typically have convection ovens, like the ones Wendy’s uses for its famous potatoes. Adding one in every location would be a major expense, and most chains just aren’t willing to make the move—especially if Wendy’s already has its grip on the fast-food potato market. A few chains have tried to make the jump. Carl Jr. used to sell baked potatoes, and as did Burger King during its early-’90s attempt to create a classier environment with table-service Dinner Baskets. Canadian Arby’s and select U.S. locations have them on the menu, as does the Mid-Atlantic chain, Roy Rogers. Unless anyone else decides to make push for potatoes, though, you’ll have to head to Wendy’s for your fast food non-fry fix if you’re in another part of the country.
Good customer service can go a long way, especially when you’re hangry and the fast-food line isn’t moving very fast. There is one restaurant where you’re guaranteed to be greeted with a smile and get your food in a timely manner. If you’ve ever been there you’ve probably heard their employees say, ‘My pleasure.’ That’s right, Chick-fil-A, the famous chicken joint, has the best fast-food customer service in America. They beat Sonic Drive-In, which came in at second place, and Arby’s, in third place. The America’s Best Customer Service 2019 report by Newsweek and Statista surveyed 20,000 U.S. customers. They each rated several brands in categories such as quality of communication, technical competence, range of services, customer focus, and accessibility. It’s no surprise that Chick-fil-A scored first in the fast-food category considering that good customer service has always been a part of their brand. A quote from the chain’s founder, S. Truett Cathy, is displayed proudly on their website. It states, ‘We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.’ Don’t miss these polite customer habits that fast-food workers secretly dislike. Every Chick-fil-A store works hard six days a week to not only serve delicious biscuits, chicken sandwiches, and crispy waffle fries, but to also have quality face-to-face interaction with every one of its customers.
This is hardly surprising. Congrats to Chick-fil-A! They’ve earned this. 🙂
Can you guess what it is? America’s favorite fast food chain has revealed its most popular item of the past year – and it’s not the Chicken Biscuit, which clocked in at number nine of the top 10 bestselling items. Actually, it’s not chicken, at all. Despite the chain’s cow mascots asking people to “Eat mor chikin,” it seems the restaurant’s most popular menu item are the Waffle Fries. “Our most popular menu item, the waffle fry is arguably the tastiest way to eat a tater. There’s no doubt that the Waffle Fries seem to be the perfect side for just about anything else on the lunch and dinner menu. Cooked with canola oil and sea salt, put simply, they are pure perfection!” Chick-fil-A wrote in a press release. Though the fries took first place, rest assured, chicken did fall on Chick-fil-A’s bestselling items of 2018 – accounting for five of the top ten items. In a list of the most popular items of the last year, according to the company’s press release, the Spicy Deluxe Sandwich came in at 10, Chicken Biscuit was 9, Chick-n-Strips were 8, Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich was 4 and Chicken Nuggets made the list as the highest chicken product at 3. The brand’s other potato item, hash browns, made the list at 7, while lemonade came in at 6, iced tea was 5 and soft drinks were the second bestselling item of 2018. It may seem surprising that a fast food chain known for its chicken sold more french fries than poultry – but it isn’t. The brand’s unique waffle fries and dipping sauces have built such a following that several people have created Instagram profiles dedicated to only pictures of the hearty fried spuds. Chick-fil-A is projected to be the third largest fast food chain in the United States in terms of sales, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.
..beating out Taco Bell. Excellent!! 🙂
IHOb has officially returned to calling itself IHOP – and admitted the change was all part of a publicity stunt. Last month the breakfast joint announced it was going to change its name from International House of Pancakes to International House of Burgers in honor of its newest menu item. The company best known for its breakfasts already had burgers on the menu but had started using the IHOb name on social media, its website and for in-store promotions to draw attention to a new line of burgers made of Black Angus ground beef. The change drew massive backlash on social media with some calling the move an “epic failure.” Fortunately for those who criticized the new name, the brand has announced it will be returning to its pancake roots. The restaurant revealed Monday it was going back to IHOP, just in time to promote a pancake deal tied to IHOP’s 60th birthday. On Twitter, the company said, “That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers).” Stephanie Peterson, Executive Director, Communications for IHOP released a statement to Fox News about the change, saying it did “exactly” what they intended. “We’re incredibly proud of the IHOb campaign that was created to announce our new Ultimate Steakburgers – it did exactly what we intended it to do, which was to get people talking about, and thinking differently about, IHOP. All along, we said IHOb was a fun, temporary name change to launch our new burgers. It was bold and effective. Burgers weren’t a menu item associated with IHOP before, and now people know they can get a great, quality burger along with the pancakes they love.”
Oh.. So, “we’re changing from Ihop to Ihob”…and then “just kidding! It was a marketing/’publicity’ temporary” stunt. Wow.. Customers don’t like being screwed with and lied to, and then told “just kidding.” This wasn’t marketed as a “temporary” name change at all. It was marketed as a name change. Period. Stephanie should either resign or be fired for this media campaign disaster. I’m sure there are plenty of Ihop customers who will either take a break and go 6o Denny’s or Village Inn..or just say to heck with Ihop. How annoying..
Virginia is for lovers of political correctness, as we learned this weekend when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was thrown out of The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, on Friday night. The restaurant’s owner sanctimoniously declared the establishment has to uphold “certain standards.” Evidently she means the standard of resisting President Trump, by refusing to serve steak or french fries, or a hen that’s red – or whatever it is that they serve – to an employee of the man they loathe because they’re “tolerant,” or something like that. This political correctness is quickly approaching dangerous and irrational levels the likes of which we’ve never witnessed before. In the age of social media anyone can seize an opportunity to publicly take a stand against President Trump, and know that it could easily become national news and give them their 15 minutes of fame in the process. The staff at The Red Hen knew if they asked Sanders to leave they’d get national news coverage. Shortly afterward employees were lighting up Twitter with tales of how their boss gave Sarah the boot, on moral grounds of course. This quest for media attention is becoming all too common, and as it does, we continue to see people cross the line in potentially dangerous ways. Just last week Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was harassed while eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the White House by the Democratic Socialists of America. They were upset over the administration’s immigration policy – a policy that was also the law on the books during the Obama years, but his Cabinet secretaries didn’t get chased out of restaurants following screams and chants and f-bombs. Perhaps we have celebrities like Robert De Niro, Samantha Bee, Michelle Wolf, and Peter Fonda to thank for leading the leftist mob down this road to what is approaching near anarchy. Make no mistake, this isn’t just about President Trump. Even if Vice President Mike Pence was president, this would still happen. The PC liberals in this country increasingly seem to believe that they can bully their way to public policy goals. Celebrities instigate the behavior, the far left mimics the behavior, and the media enables it all. The result is the public now thinks this is the new normal. It is not normal. It is dangerous. Peter Fonda sent out a series of tweets this week, calling for Barron Trump to be ripped from his mother and put in a cage with pedophiles, then he went after Sarah Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen tweeting that Sanders’ kids should be taken from her and Nielsen should be put in a cage, stripped naked, and whipped publicly with it filmed for posterity. Paging #MeToo. Just curious, if Peter Fonda walked into The Red Hen would he be asked to leave because his tweets don’t meet the “certain standards” they have to uphold as a restaurant? Asking for a friend. By the owner’s flawed logic and approach to business management, anyone who isn’t a socialist shouldn’t serve Bernie Sanders because socialism has ruined many countries and cost countless lives. Yet, if I owned a restaurant I’d gladly serve Senator Sanders and a table full of his socialist friends because I’m running a business, as countless other businesses who don’t subscribe to socialism have done. That’s right, I’d serve a bunch of socialists because I’m a capitalist. Both The Red Hen’s owner and many others are pointing to the recent Supreme Court decision that ruled Masterpiece Cakeshop did not have to make an off-the-menu cake for a gay wedding to justify kicking Sanders out of the restaurant. However, there is no comparison. For that logic to work Sanders would’ve had to order food that wasn’t on the menu and then use the government to try and force them to make what she wanted. Once upon a time, it used to be if any high ranking official — from any administration, Democrat or Republican — came into your restaurant not only would you serve them, but you’d publicize it to promote your business. Gone are those days. Today, many are just looking to put politically correct points on the board, and prefer to seek out publicity for their business through divisive political statements. And our media – most of whom make no secret of the fact they are ultra-liberal – is giving them a platform to do so, not through the lens of journalism and facts, but rather by minimizing those who don’t think the way they do. Accustomed to always being the adult in the room, Sanders left The Red Hen without a scene, and later tweeted “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” You won’t see Sanders kicking anyone out of the briefing room to uphold certain standards, though many would call her justified if she did. And you won’t find her on Twitter calling anyone four letter words, or calling for the public beating of another human. Those who claim to represent “certain standards”- including tolerance and inclusiveness – should stand up and take notice. This is what it looks like.
Exactly!! And well said, Lauren. Lauren DeBellis Appell is the author of that spot-on analysis of how political correctness and tribalism is really tearing us apart as a country. Then you have tools like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) encouraging mobs to openly harass anyone in the Trump Administration wherever they are; restaurants, gas stations, etc. Unreal..
Who doesn’t want their breakfast served with a heaping side dish of bad marketing? The International House of Pancakes, which has been around for 60 years, has announced on Twitter that it is changing its acronym from IHOP to IHOb. No word yet on what that means for its full name. The company tweeted: “For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb. Find out what it could b on 6.11.18. #IHOb.” The restaurant chain has been urging followers to guess what the “b” signifies. Fans were urged to vote about what they thought it meant, choosing options like “Bacon” or “Barnacles.” (Yum!) As of this writing, bacon is deservedly winning. But a major company hopping toward a possibly half-baked new name and only getting 34,000 votes for its naming survey says a lot about how hot the IHOP brand really is. (Hint: If they wouldn’t serve you something this cold – even with syrup.) That doesn’t solve the mystery of the killer “b,” which Internet users have widely interpreted to mean “breakfast.” The implication is that customers at more than 1,650 IHOP/IHOb restaurants in the U.S, as well as Mexico, Bahrain and several other countries, don’t realize the company does more than pancakes. Rather than leap to the assumption this will be a New Coke level marketing disaster (1,000 on a scale of 1-10), many are panning the move and the new name is being battered. The Guardian scored with the best putdown, saying: “Ihop becomes Ihob in desperate blea for attention.” When even NPR says your Twitter feed is “littered with the company’s coy responses” about the move, it’s fair to be skeptical. It’s also just as fair to assume some marketing “genius” decided an official name change could make the company more “hip” or PC. Alaskans witnessed this recently when Mt. McKinley turned into Mt. Denali. The 20,310-foot-peak (the highest in North America) didn’t get any easier to climb, it just got harder to spell. Journalists know this process all too well as they watched the venerable Chicago Tribune company change its publishing arm to “tronc.” (A moronic short form for Tribune online content.) IHOP isn’t getting troncated, though IHOb conjures up other marketing problems. The term “hob” has several definitions and can mean a place on a stove to warm plates and pans, as well as the hub of a wheel or a male ferret. (Ferrets, they’re not just for breakfast anymore!). Urban Dictionary describes “hub” as “buff” or “strong,” as well as the singular form for husband. None of those really shouts “Breakfast!” to a hungry world. “Hob” is also a computer game produced by Runic Games. Perhaps players will now indicate their game of choice merely by saying: “I Hob.” Or perhaps, IHOP’s lack of cool factor will harm the game entirely. And speaking of “cool,” I just remembered I need to vote another few thousand times for ‘bacon.” Because International House of bacon might seem like a rasher idea, but it could cure any marketing problem.
Agreed.. This whole IHop to IHob thing is a total disaster. We wonder who the brain trust was behind that marketing flop/flob. Thanks to Dan Gainor over at the Media Research Center for his spot-on analysis here.
The owner of a California Chick-Fil-A on Monday hiked some employee’s hourly wages to as much as $18 and is offering other benefits. According to KXTV, current employees working as “hospitality professionals” making $12.50 to $13 per hour will see a wage increase to $17 to $18 per hour. Also, all employees will get paid sick leave and supervisors will get paid time off. Eric Mason, the owner of the Chick-Fil-A in Sacramento told KXTV, “We’re looking for people trying to raise families, improve their lifestyle. The people (are) the real key component to successful businesses. We’re looking for people who are looking for long-term opportunity.”