The Year in Fast Food Slideshow
First, they offered a ridiculous proposal package for Valentine's Day (every girl wants to celebrate with some pizza, obviously), then they offered free pizza for life for anyone who asked the presidential candidates their pizza topping preferences, sausage or pepperoni, during the presidential debates. Naturally, they rescinded the latter offer, because it was just dumb and people actually care about politics (true story), so when Christmas came around they just gave people $10 gift cards if they tweeted a photo of their lame Christmas present. Honestly though, we were really happy with our socks.
Flickr/dno1967b; Pizza Hut
The Mexican fusion fast food chain launched a menu that seemed suspiciously focused on burrito bowls, called the Cantina menu from Lorena Garcia (Top Chef). At the same time, Taco Bell solidified its reputation as stoner food of the world when they hinted at a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco, plus launched "restaurant-sized" nachos and churro desserts.
Wendy's in Japan got a lobster and caviar burger, as well as a foie gras version, KFC put a weird cheese slice on top of their cheese top burger in the Philippines, and Burger King did crazy promotions that allowed this guy to put 1,050 rashers of bacon on his burger (not to mention that truffle burger in Hong Kong). In the meantime, McDonald's launched baguette sandwiches in France, fancy pretzel burgers in Germany, and wine in South America. We're waiting for our lobster rolls, Mickey D.
The brand, known for assembly line-styled ordering, was considering a drive-thru and breakfast options. And while this would be great for commuting cities, it could potentially mean less corn salsa in your burrito bowl.
Similar to years before, the Christian chicken chain made headlines for their decidedly anti-gay stance (and monetary donations to similar-minded organizations). Of course, this year the CEO Dan Cathy admitted that he was “guilty as charged” and did not believe in gay marriage, sparking a kiss-in day of protest from gay advocates, a day of Chick-fil-A support from anti-gay advocates, city officials rallying against them, etc. etc. etc. Then Chick-fil-A said the company wouldn't make donations to anti-gay organizations, but then pulled that statement back, so we don’t know where we are on the chicken sandwich vs. gay marriage issue.
Flickr/Generic Brand Productions
The fast food giant launched a new, “healthier” Happy Meal with a smaller portion of fries and newly-added sliced apples. Then the chain promoted a healthier menu for the Olympics and decided to post calorie counts on all its menus, but that still didn't change the fact that McDonald’s still has one of the unhealthiest “healthy” kids meals ever.
Earlier this year, Wendy’s beat Burger King as the number two fast-food burger chain in America (McDonald’s was first, obviously). So naturally, Burger King did its best to win the title back. The chain tested a delivery service, signed on Mary J. Blige and David Beckham to do ads (one of which backfired), launched a bacon sundae, and even offered 55-cent Whoppers in honor of the 55-year-old Whopper.
In one of the more surprising moves of the year, fast-food workers at New York City establishments walked out on the job, demanding $15 an hour instead of the minimum wage of $7.25. Most of the workers went back to work without any problems, but there’s still talk of a unionization effort. We expect to see more of the movement for living wages in the industry next year.