Brian Sheehan dishes on what's hot and trending in the world of all things food and drink for Thursday, October 20, 2016.
The Gas Station
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Gas Station Gets Turned Into Bed-and-Barbecue
Fans of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre can experience a taste of the 1974 horror movie by visiting The Gas Station, the site of the Last Chance Gas Station from the movie, which has been transformed into a bed-and-barbecue tourist attraction. Located in Bastrop, Texas, the roof sign reads “We Slaughter Barbecue,” and there are overnight cabins for guests to rent, stocked with televisions and discs of famous horror movies. Hundreds of fans showed up to The Gas Station’s grand opening Oct. 8, including actors from the original movie.
Pizza Hut Has a Job for the Ultimate College Sports Fan
Pizza Hut is on the hunt for the ultimate pizza-loving sports fan. The chain is looking to hire a Pizza Hut All-American who will travel to as many Division I NCAA championships as possible on behalf of Pizza Hut, according to a release. The chain is looking for someone with “a serious passion for and knowledge of all NCAA sports,” and social media savviness. “We know that college sports fans are as passionate about their teams as we are about pizza, and as the Official Pizza of the NCAA, we felt it was our obligation to bring exclusive Pizza Hut experiences to Division I NCAA championships, especially those that often don’t get the limelight,” said David Daniels, vice president of media and advertising for Pizza Hut. The job runs from Nov. 14, 2016 to June 30, 2017 and pays $50,000. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 6.
OpenTable Now Lets Members Buy Their Way Into Hard-to-Book Restaurant Reservations
OpenTable has created a new VIP Premium Access feature that is being tested out in Boston. The “pay-for-play” system lets you trade in your OpenTable points (received when checking into a restaurant) for access to popular tables at high-end restaurants that usually sell out in advance. You can still exchange your points for gift cards as under the old system, but this allows diners the option to use their “dining status” to get into Michelin-starred restaurants instead, without the frustration of a six-month waiting period or lottery system. “We always heard at cocktail parties: ‘Hey you work at Open Table, we’d love if you could get us in to this restaurant.’ Now there’s a way to do that,” Scott Jampol, senior vice president of marketing for OpenTable, told Eater. Currently, 13 Boston restaurants are participating in the Premium Access test run.
Shake Shack Test Launches a Mobile Ordering App
The ubiquitous international burger chain Shake Shack has launched “a new way to Shack” with its first-ever iOS mobile ordering app, now being tested at the Midtown East Shack in New York City. With the Shack App, customers can place orders from their phones and choose a pick-up time in 15-minute increments. Food is cooked to order, according to a release, and use of the app will theoretically result in shorter wait times. The app also features a Shake Shack location finder, saves favorite orders, and lets customers know about the latest events and promotions from the company.
Joy in Childhood Foundation
Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Debut Rebranded Joy in Childhood Foundation
To celebrate its third annual Week of Joy, Oct. 17 through 21, and the 10th anniversary of its charitable foundation, the Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation has been rebranded as the Joy in Childhood Foundation. The foundation is committed to “improving the lives of sick and hungry children across the country by providing the simple joys of childhood to children whose lives are compromised by health and hunger issues,” according to a release. More than 1,500 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees, crew members, and corporate employees are expected to volunteer a combined 4,000 hours to provide meals to those in need.