Following the remarkable success of the Chick’n Shack chicken sandwich it rolled out nationally in January, Shake Shack has created a second chicken recipe. As it did with the Chick’n Shack, the chain is putting the new Salt & Pepper Honey Chick’n into just its Brooklyn locations for now.
Priced at $6.29 (the same as the Chick’n Shack) begins with a cage-free chicken breast that’s slow-cooked in a buttermilk marinade, hand-dipped into house-made batter, dredged through seasoned flour and deep-fried. The final touch is a sprinkling of ground black pepper and a bit of salted honey. The sandwich is served on a non-GMO potato bun.
“When we launched Chick’n Shack in Brooklyn last year, we were so stoked to see how much our Brooklyn fans embraced it. Now it’s time to give them a little something sweet in return,” Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati said in a release. “The Salt & Pepper Honey Chicken is our spin on a classic, featuring well balanced layers of sweetness and saltiness.”
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has pulled the plug on its plan to establish itself in the fast-casual marketplace, announcing what it termed a “strategic reevaluation” of its Red Robin Burger Works sub-brand.
The company abruptly closed nine of its 12 fast-casual Burger Works locations on Sept. 30 (five units in Chicago, two in Washington D.C., one in Ft. Collins, Colo., and one in Boulder, Colo.). The three remaining locations (two in Denver and one in Clakamas, Ore.) will remain open and be renamed Red Robin Express. The Burger Works brand was supposed to be Red Robin’s mean to leverage urban locations and nontraditional settings such as colleges. It wasn’t happening.
Denny Marie Post, who took over as Red Robin CEO in August after the departure of Steve Carley, said in a statement that the restaurant industry “remains intensely competitive both in casual dining, where Red Robin has become the burger authority over a span of more than 50 years, and in the fast-casual burger segment, which we entered more recently. We’ve gained considerable knowledge since opening the first of our smaller, fast-casual locations in 2011. We are now conducting a strategic review of how this alternative platform can better support our brand as a whole and best serve our guests.”
When chains cite “aggressive discounting” as partial explanation for revenue or same-store-sales shortfalls, they likely have Taco Bell in mind. That brand decided to dive for the bottom and market a $1 Morning Menu.
It’s working, in transaction terms at least. Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed told analysts this week that the $1 menu helped increase Taco Bell’s breakfast transactions by 14% in Q3. “What they’ve done is, they’ve now taken that to an all day value menu play, which has only just started in the marketplace,” said Creed. “I think, what is impressive is not only do we have now the market leading position for a lot of prices. We now have the category leading position for every day great value.”
Take away the breakfast contribution and Creed said Taco Bell’s transaction count would have been just “slightly positive.”
At least one McDonald’s restaurants—this in San Carlos Park, Fla.—has an idea how to get those $1 breakfast customers. On Sunday (October 9) it will offer what it calls “Florida’s Biggest Brunch.” All three McDonald’s all-day breakfast sandwich categories (muffins, McGriddles and biscuits) will be priced at just $1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Only a chain based in Oklahoma City would introduce a new line of frozen drinks as fall arrives! Sonic Drive-Ins now offer Frozen Sweet Teas, an interesting extension of iced tea into the slushy-drink category.
Wildberry, Black Cherry and Pomegranate Hibiscus are new iced tea flavors, joining Mango, Strawberry and others. All iced teas now can be ordered as regular iced tea, frozen iced tea or “Clubhouse” (half tea and half lemonade. Arnold Palmer would be proud).
Umami Burger says its Royale burger is now a permanent menu member. That’s a burger patty topped with braised short rib, truffled aïoli, house truffle cheese and truffle glaze.