Burger King launches Halloween Whopper

28-whopper-black-bk.w529.h529Burger King unleashed the black Whopper, the first of American black-bun burgers. The chain is marketing it as the Halloween Whopper, as a limited edition Whopper. The black burger is otherwise an entirely normal Whopper with A.1. sauce slathered on top. With the release of the Halloween Whopper, mixed views and reactions towards the black bun is shared. Many show distaste to a black-bun, while others are raving about the festive buns. “A-1 Steak Sauce baked into the buns!!! Amazing!!!”

While this is America’s first black burger, Burger King Japan has already black bun burgers implemented into their menus. Burger King has also released that the U.K will also be getting black-bun burgers for the month of October. Burger King hopes to drive up their sales with the Halloween Whopper, on its creepy shock value. Fans of the black-buns can hope that with increased performance of the chain, because of the Halloween Whopper, the black-bun can be a permanent menu item all across America.

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Barclays Center Event: Tapped

27-tapped-beer-festival.w529.h529Barclays Center will host its first-ever beer festival. Barclays Center is home to the NBA team Brooklyn Nets, but with such a large and new facilities, new events are being put into the arena. On October 25, it will host a beer festival. Many lauded craft brewers like Florida’s Cigar City, Michigan’s Founders, New York’s War Flag are all expected to be participating in the event. This event will potentially attract all beer lovers and food lovers.

Food lovers will have the opportunity to taste celebrity chef Josh Capon’s Bash Burger, five-time winner of the New York Wine & Food Festival’s Burger Bash and other award-winning foods. Not only will craft beer, wine tasting and renowned foods be available but will also have interactive games like large-scale beer pong and Jenga. Moreover, Sunday Football will be streaming through TV’s.

General admissions tickets to each session of three hours is sold at $29 for early bird until September 2nd. The admissions ticket includes a souvenir cup and drink samples. VIP access tickets include early entrance 30 minutes prior to general admissions, and access to Calvin Klein Coursed Club, exclusive craft beer tastings, and televisions for Sunday Football games.

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Fight for 15 in Action

New YorkFight-for-15 City’s fast food worker minimum will rise to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The increase in wages is in efforts to improve the lives of chain restaurant employees whose wages can keep them reliant on taxpayer-subsidized welfare programs. This policy will apply to not only company-owned restaurants with thirty or more nationwide locations but to franchise locations as well. As wages increases, labor costs increases resulting in price hikes for consumer goods. In a recent survey of 924 fast food businesses in New York, 70 percent were “very likely” to raise prices in response to the increase in minimum wages, and 83 percent of respondents claimed they were very likely or “somewhat likely” to reduce hours of staffing levels. This increase in higher wages could potentially prompt competitive salary increases throughout the hospitality and retail industries to avoid drama of workers who’ll suddenly find fast food jobs more attractive.

The New York City minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur on December 31st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at $10.50, $12.00, $13.50, and $15 respectively. While the changes to the New York State minimum wages will be broken down from 2015 to 2021, at $9.75, $10.75, $11.75, $12.75, $13.75, $14.50 and $15 respectively.

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Retail Spotlight: Fuku NYC

163 1st Ave. New York, NY, 10003.

Their Success…This summer a rising trend fukuwebof Chicken sandwiches are evident. David Chang,
Founder of Momofuku Inc., is named a leader in this trend with his opening of Fuku NYC,home to an $8 spicy-fried-chicken sandwich. Since its opening on June 10th, Fuku has been on headlines and trending throughout social media because of its chicken sandwich. There is an obvious inspiration by Chick-fil-A which Chang grew up eating in suburban Virginia, and he also claims to be a fan of In-N-Out for its unique corporate culture as much as for its burger. Chang describes Fuku as “our attempt to sort of honor the great fried-chicken places and fast-food concepts out here, to do our version of that, and hopefully, to make it better.” With never-ending lines around the corner of the restaurant , one can say Chang has successfully started a fried-chicken culture and redefined “fast-food.”

Fuku NYC is located on 10th St. and 1st Ave. This location is also the original location of the Momofuku Noodle bar. After six months of intensive renovations and development, Fuku now boasts a very chic urban atmosphere. Utilizing their space to its full potential, an open kitchen, and bar side tables are available for those who are eating-in. Although no chairs or stool are available for consumers, customers are fully accommodated as a fast-casual restaurant.  After ordering, customers are given a number where then Fuku employees will bring their orders to customers whether it was to eat-in or take-away. Likewise, employees are constantly walking around the restaurant to take away trays.

Employees are also seen refilling their ketchup and ssam sauce bottles throughout the restaurant. The Ssam Sauce is Fuku’s’specialty’ sauce that adds more spice to the chicken burger. Ssam sauce is Fuku’s rendition of an already existing Korean chili sauce and is sold to customers separately. While most customers order a spicy chickenburger, Fuku does serve salads and fries. Fuku also offers a lunch special where customers can easily get a spicy chicken burger, fries and a drink for $12, potentially saving themselves $1 when buying them separately.

Take Aways…Fuku NYC does a great job with creating traffic and retaining customers. With Fuku only at 600 square feet and an open kitchen and bar, there is limited space for people to stand in line so customers are forced to wait on line outside. However, Fuku makes ordering very quick and easy. While one stationed register takes orders, another employee is seen walking down the lines to take orders through their iPads. This potentially retains customers on line by binding orders. Moreover, consumers feel well accommodated and less annoyed from waiting. Fuku only accepts credit cards which speeds up the ordering process.

Their chicken sandwich is simply a fried chicken, pickles and a buttered bun but consumers are attracted to Fuku’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich because of its large fried chicken at an affordable price of $8.

To read more about their grand opening, click here.

July 16th

One of the biggest summer food CJbAFC2UEAA5N1Ktrends is fried chicken sandwiches and Shake Shack is taking their approach to this market with their ChickenShack. This fried chicken sandwich is “limited edition” and can only be found in three locations in Brooklyn. While this “limited edition” burger was available for a short span, the success of the burgers have encouraged the sandwich to be offered in a larger span. On July 16th, the ChickenShack will be available for more consumers.

While a fried chicken sandwich is only recently a trending food buzz with openings of Fuku Chicken sandwiches, Shake Shack claims to have already been investing in creating the perfect fried chicken sandwich from almost two years ago. The sandwich has been tested a number of techniques including marinating, grilling and even sous of the chicken breast before deep frying. Mark Rosati, Shake Shack culinary director, uses a slow cooking method similar to sous vide cooking, using buttermilk for their chicken. They’ve tried whole wheat, pretzel and other substitutes to the Martin’s potato bun, the buns on their burgers, but claim that the Martin’s bun was the best combination for best displaying the flavors of the chicken itself. The ChickenShack was inspired by Southern buttermilk fried chicken where breast meat is used.

As much as a lot of time and effort was invested into creating a ChickenShack, a lot of social media, and consumers are buzzing about the “limited edition” sandwiches and are enthusiastic about its return on July 16th.

To read more about the ChickenShack, click here.

The Big M loses it’s Size

For the first time since 1977, one of the largest restaurant chains inMcDonalds-Closing the world, McDonald’s, is projected to close more stores than open in the United States. Over the past two years, McDonald’s has been suffering from decreasing revenue and drops in profit from stores worldwide. Increasing numbers of competitors in the United States, economic instability in Europe and strict food safety regulations in Asia have effected the performance of McDonald’s. Already in the first quarter of 2015, McDonald’s closed 350 stores performing poorly in Japan, United States and China hoping it will drive profits upward. McDonald’s CFO Kevin Ozan is implementing turnaround strategies to “win over the millions of burger-eaters.” The company’s approach within limited service fast food is labeled to be outdated and far from trending dietary factors. This generation, the Millennials, are prone to be more health-conscious and interested in key words like “organic, free range, locally grown” which are areas that McDonald’s is incoherent with. With McDonald’s lagging attempt to follow trends, competitors continue to grow like Chipotle which caused the biggest drop in sales to McDonald’s with its entrance into the limited service industry. McDonald’s has not officially disclosed the number of stores closing but it is speculated that a target of 700 restaurants with poor sales will be shutting down this year.

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Adult “Happy Meals” at Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake, the healthy neighborhood diner on 124th St and Lenox Ave., has recently introduced the “Happy Meal“— an adult-friendly take on the popular fast-food combo meal. Instead of a plastic toy and unhealthy fare, this Happy Meal pairs a glass of from Harlem Shake’s new wine list wine with all-natural, healthier renditions of classic American comfort food, like the Kale & Chickpea Salad or the Harlem Burger. There’s a Happy Meal to fulfill everyone’s cravings, whether customers’ New Years resolutions are to be a better penny pincher or to indulge themselves more, both financially and nutritionally.