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Food Life Restaurants

Will Starbucks delivery ruin coffee culture?

Starbucks
Photo: James Maskell, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Delivering a pumpkin spice latte to your doorstep may become as common as ordering a pizza in the near future. Starbucks announced it will begin delivering coffee and food in 2015. CEO Howard Schultz shared the plan during the company’s quarterly earnings conference, stating delivery service will launch first to loyalty program members through a new app. The new app will allow members to order and pay for their food and coffee without going to a Starbucks location.

The move is among a series of plans to bring the coffee chain into the digital age. In July this year, Starbucks announced mobile ordering via their smart phone app, allowing patrons to pre-order their drinks.

The launch date for the delivery service has not been announced, nor has there been any talk to expand the service outside of the United States.

With dwindled human interaction via the ordering app, and no real reason to stay in its stores, is the new profitable and speedy technology the right move?

Starbucks has largely been responsible for the establishing the European-style coffee culture throughout the United States. Patrons can linger in the stores, enjoying free wi-fi and mellow soundtrack, while utilizing its various locations as makeshift offices or meeting spots.

The new mobile initiatives are targeted toward a faster crowd that cares less about atmosphere and more about convenience. In the world of food, honing prep and speed time can drastically increase volume and profits. This is the model most popular fast food restaurants work under. With chains such as Panera Bread also utilizing  mobile app ordering for pick-up, the cafes are becoming less relaxed and more fast-paced.

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Food Restaurants

KFC promotes family with board game buckets

KFC Game Night

Grab the family, and gather around a bucket of chicken. That’s the plan for KFC’s latest promotion, the KFC Game Night Bucket. The family sized meal includes chicken tenders, dipping sauces, side items, and an I SPY game, attached to the bucket.

“Colonel Sanders started serving home-cooked meals to travelers at his family’s dining room table in his service station in 1930, and he quickly developed a reputation for ‘Sunday dinner served seven days a week,’” said Kevin Hochman, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC U.S. “At KFC, we’ve always prided ourselves on bringing families together over dinner, and we think the Colonel would be proud of the way the Game Night Bucket does that in a fun way.”

The I SPY franchise has been popular with children since the first book was published in 1991. Now available in a variety of merchandise, the game items to search for among a colorful jumble of objects.


Does playing together actually make a family stay together? Gimmicks like this do work (think Happy Meals or Cracker Jack), but are often seen as a stunt to mask the misgivings of the food itself. The latest #HowDoYouKFC ad campaign, which features various families shooting their dining experiences with a smart phone, raves about the food and the game. Would you be willing to try it?

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Food Restaurants

Jack in the Box’s Overnight Menu Targets the Munchies

Jack's Munchie Meal

Late nights and fast food often go together, especially at Jack in the Box. The restaurant chain recently announced a special menu that is only available from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Late night lovers can choose from 4 different perfectly packaged menu options, complete with sides and a drink for $6.00, plus tax, at participating locations.

The party starts at 9 p.m. when things at Jack in the Box get a little twisted. The beat turns up, and the purple glow from the menu board signals it’s time for Jack’s Munchie Meal. Available nightly only after 9 p.m., every meal comes in its own box with 2 tacos, Halfsie fries (half Seasoned Curly Fries, half French Fries) and a 20 oz. drink, plus one of four new entrées exclusive to Jack’s late night menu:

  • Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger – Sourdough grilled cheese on top, cheeseburger on bottom. Tuck into this tasty bunk bed.
  • The Brunch Burger – A burger with a fried egg and a crispy hash brown for when it’s so late you don’t know whether it’s dinner or breakfast.
  • Exploding Cheesy Chicken Sandwich – A chicken sandwich exploding with mozzarella cheese sticks and gooey white cheese sauce. Oh my cheesy goodness.
  • Loaded Chicken Nuggets – Chicken nuggets drowning in two kinds of cheese with ranch and bacon. Rescue them!

Additionally, each entrée can be purchased separately after 9 p.m. for $4.00, plus tax, and Halfsies are always available for $2.50, plus tax, at participating locations.

“Our new late night menu was designed for the other nine-to-fivers, and we made sure it’s worthy of standing up to hunger at any time of night,” said Keith Guilbault, Vice President of Menu & Innovation at Jack in the Box. “Jack in the Box is known for offering its full menu, including breakfast, all day every day. And while that still holds true, our 4 new entrées are unique to our late night menu and sure to have guests wishing it was 9 p.m. already.”

Jack’s Munchie Meal isn’t the only thing new about the after-9 p.m. vibe at Jack in the Box. The restaurant has new purple and black uniforms and says the volume of the music will be loud until 5 a.m.

Visit www.latenightfoodycall.com for more information.

 

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Food Restaurants

Hooters Turns 30

Hooters Turns 30

The beloved and reviled wing joint, Hooters, is turning 30 on Oct. 4. To celebrate the restaurant chain announced a week-long series of deals and celebrations leading up to its milestone birthday. In addition to giving away free wings for a year to guests, Hooters is calling all past and present Hooters Girls to join in the fun as birthday parties take place across the nation, doubling as a colossal Hooters Girl reunion.

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 4 numbered tickets will be distributed to Hooters party guests at each location across the country to participate in the “Hooters Free Wings Giveaway.” At 8 p.m. ET/PT in an unprecedented national TV reveal, Hooters TVs will tune into Fox Sports 1 for the announcement of the winning numbers and those guests with winning tickets will win free Hooters wings for an entire year.

Throughout the week, Hooters is thanking its guests with a series of promotions leading up to the big 30th birthday celebration:

  • Merchandise Monday, Sept. 30: Wear any Hooters merchandise item into a Hooters location and receive 30 percent off any one item of new Hooters merchandise
  • Take Me Back Tuesday, Oct. 1: Receive 30 percent off any Hooters hamburger all day
  • Wingsday Wednesday, Oct. 2: Buy 10 boneless wings and fries for just $6.99
  • Traditional Wing Thursday, Oct. 3: Enjoy 30 percent off Hooters world-famous traditional bone-in wings all day
  • 30th Birthday Party, Friday, Oct. 4: Every Hooters location will host a nation-wide 30th birthday party, including Hooters Girl reunions and the free wings for a year giveaway revealed nationally on Fox Sports 1.

The first Hooters opened October 4, 1983, in Clearwater, Fla., by the original “Hooters Six” founders, and the brand has grown to become one of the most successful dining destinations in the world. Hooters touts more than 300,000 Hooters Girl alumnae.

“Who would ever guess that the Parcheesi playing fugitives of ‘The Home for the Visually Offensive’ would see their 1983 creation in Clearwater, Fla., become an American icon and international phenomenon?” said Ed Droste, one of the original “Hooters Six” founders.

To celebrate the nostalgia of the occasion, Hooters will share photos from the past leading to present day Hooters on its Facebook page and social channels. Guests who join in the 30th birthday festivities are encouraged to share their party photos through social channels using the hashtag #StepIntoAwesome.