If you’re looking for a sign that the world is taking baby steps back to the “old normal,” just pull into the drive-thru at McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A or most any fast food emporium.
While some fast food chains still keep their dining rooms closed, the big boys have started cranking out new products, a sign of good (relatively speaking) times to come. That’s if you consider driving to work with a bag of Sausage McMuffins between your legs and a large Diet Coke in your cup holder as good times.
This is not going to help us shed the COVID-15 we’ve packed on during hibernation.
Fast food burgers are a reliable indicator how a country’s economy is doing. It’s called the The Big Mac index, which lists the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich in more than 100 countries. It’s the ultimate apples-to-apples comparison of a foreign currency’s strength against the U.S. dollar.
These chains create new products to goose their bottom lines. Remember last year when Popeyes introduced a new chicken sandwich that caused traffic jams in their drive-thru lanes, and panic disorder when they ran out of them?
Here’s a list of some of the latest and greatest products in your favorite fast food emporiums.
The burger boss recently introduced its Travis Scott Meal. The Houston rapper’s go-to order includes a Quarter Pounder with Cheese topped with bacon, lettuce and tomato, plus medium fries with BBQ sauce and Sprite with lots of ice. It’s a good deal for $6 with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
It’s the first McDonald’s partnership with a celebrity since the Michael Jordan Meal in 1992. His Airness liked his burger with cheese, bbq sauce, onions, mustard, and pickles.
Scott’s deal with McDonald’s goes way beyond burgers and fries. When you visit McDonald’s online, you’ll find 90 different Scott-inspired products, from T-shirts to boxer briefs, ski caps to rugs, socks to slippers. Here’s the stunner – every single item is “sold out.”
The Scott connection ignited protest from some franchisees who were aghast that McDonald’s would get in bed, so to speak, with a hip-hop artist whose lyrics are laced with R-rated lyrics. Madison Avenue is over the hump with rappers as endorsers, though. DJ Khaled appears in a GEICO spot, and Snoop Dogg seems to endorse everything else, including Corona beer, Monster energy drink, 7-11 convenience stores, EA Sports, Pepsi, Adidas, Chrysler, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tostitos snacks, General car insurance,and more.
Here’s a lap around the drive-thrus for more new products.
You wouldn’t know from our 90-degree temperatures, but it’s autumn, and the Shack has a new Pumpkin Shake to celebrate. It’s got Libby’s pumpkin spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg, marshmallow and frozen vanilla custard, topped with whipped cream and toasted pumpkin seeks.
The poultry palace adds Chocolate Fudge Brownies packed with semi-sweet chips and hunks of rich fudge. Oh great, now I’ll be torn between brownies and chocolate-chip cookies. You may have seen a new batch of commercials wondering what the “A” in Chick-fil-A stands for. It’s simply means that Chick-fil-A uses A-plus ingredients.
Yup, it’s autumn all right, bring on everything made with pumpkin. America’s 24-hour diner is rolling out Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes, loaded with pecans and pecan pie sauce. You can get them in a Slam breakfast that includes eggs, hash brown and you choice of bacon or sausage.
Congratulations to Caramel Apple for being named Blizzard of the Month for September. It’s DQ’s famous vanilla soft serve spun with apple topping, pie pieces and caramel-coated truffles. DQ also welcomes a new Pumpkin Cookie Butter Shake, blended with cookie butter (I have no idea what that is), pumpkin and milk, topped whipped topping and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
The new Slices-N-Stix is a round pizza crust, divided in half. One side is a regular ol’ pepperoni pie, the other is Italian Cheese Bread. The pepperoni side is cut into traditional triangle wedges, the bread side has strips.
Ready for indulgent? The new Pretzel Bacon Pub Cheeseburger has a ¼-pound of never-frozen beef, Muenster cheese, three strips of Applewood-smoke bacon, smoky honey mustard, warm beer cheese sauce, crispy fried onions and pickles on a soft pretzel bun. It should be served with a painter’s drop cloth. This is a dry cleaner bill waiting to happen. And, like the Kramer portrait, I can’t look away.
Hard to believe that a place with “F” in its name hasn’t sold French fries, but now KFC joins the parade. KFC’s fries are sprinkled with a secret blend of spices, yadda yadda. They’re a little thicker than most fast food fries. They’re all right, I guess.
The Cali-based chain has a new A-1 Double Cheeseburger, but since Carl’s Jr. up and left Houston, they’re dead to me.
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