New on the Menu: Jack in the Box’s Late-Night Proposition

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“Jack in the Box is expanding its “french fries in a box” concept to two more potato, fat, and dairy concoctions that would make any cardiologist squirm. In the company’s defense, they’re going to try just about anything to keep their franchisees happy right now. Also in Jack’s defense? It doesn’t have the meal in this installment that must worry doctors the most.

Every few weeks Skift Table will wrap up the latest seasonal and new items on chain restaurant menus in the United States. We don’t call out everything (sorry limited-time Pumpkin Spice something), but we will call out items that are notable for what they mean to a chain, the season, or consumer habits.”

See more here.

Fast Food Prices Rise to Better Reflect True Costs

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“Dollar cheeseburgers and discount nuggets are getting Americans in the door at their favorite fast-food joints, but the savings end there.

Even as the recent fast-food discount wars rage on, with Burger King advertising 10 chicken nuggets for $1 and Pizza Hut offering $5 pies, fast-food items that don’t make it onto value menus are actually climbing in price. Median fast-food hamburger prices have jumped 54 percent over the last decade to about $6.95, according to menu researcher Datassential. Chicken sandwiches are up 27 percent. Both surpass overall U.S. price inflation during that same time.”

“McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, recently started touting a $6 meal including a burger, fries, a drink and a pie, but it’s also offering plenty of items at the other end of the price scale. Its honey-barbecue glazed chicken tenders are more than $6 without any drinks or sides, and the new Bacon Smokehouse Quarter Pounder meal runs nearly $9 in Chicago.”

Read more here.

The Best Restaurants on the Upper East Side

1. Flora Bar
945 Madison Ave., nr. 75th St.; 646-558-5383

Sure, the location is a little eccentric by local standards (the dining room sits on the semi-bunkered basement level of the Met Breuer museum on Madison Avenue). The decor is a little spare, too (did we mention that it’s in the basement of the Met Breuer?), and local gourmets will complain that the chef, Ignacio Mattos, is an interloper from the wilder, much more unruly culinary regions further downtown (he operates two popular restaurants below 14th Street). But we’d argue that the mingling of high culture and high cuisine at this unlikely three-star establishment creates the kind of alchemy which is unique not just on the Upper East Side, but to the city as a whole. Throw in Mattos’s refreshingly ingenious brand of high-low cooking (where else on the block can you get your crème fraîche and caviar served with house-frizzled potato chips?), the elegantly accessible lunchtime service (yes, there’s a Wagyu burger), the exceptional all-day coffee-and-pastry bar, and one of the better brunch menus in this brunch-crazed part of town, and you have the ideal Upper East Side restaurant for this unfussy, post-gourmet age.

See more restaurants here.

Shake Shack Sees Same-Store Sales Dip

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Shake Shack, once the darling of better-burger brands, continues to show signs of struggle in the sector as it reported a same-store sales decline this week.

Comps decreased 0.7% for the quarter ended Sept. 26, while total revenue rose 26.5% and sales increased 27.2%.
Shake Shack stock prices tumbled more than 11% on the news early Friday.
During the quarter, Shake Shack opened seven company-operated stores and two licensed units.

The brand expects to launch its largest number of new stores in history in 2019, with plans to open 36 to 40 units, executives said during a call with analysts Thursday.
The company drew concern from investors following its announcement in August that it was suffering from a logjam in unit expansion, stalling growth until the later part of 2018.

Read more here.

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.

To read more, click here.

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.

To read more, click here.

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.

To read more, click here.