Restaurant News Bites: Burger King, White Castle, A&W

The end of the June fiscal quarter saw another drop in U.S. restaurant visits.  The latest dip of 1% marked the eighth consecutive quarter that restaurant visits had declined.  The continuing decline has led to restaurants across the country offering special deals, unique pricing features, and innovative marketing campaigns to curb some of the effects the recession has had on the industry.

Burger King Holdings, Inc. has announced major changes to senior management after the company was successfully purchased by an affiliate of 3G Capital.  Changes will occur in nearly all positions of senior management.  The reconfiguration takes advantage of many skilled members of the organization remaining from the previous ownership as well as bringing in new and proven talents from outside the company.

A number of high-profile restaurants and nightclubs in New York City are organizing a new trade association.  The NYC Hospitality Coalition announced its intended formation as restaurant operators and club owners say the cost of doing business in the city has become more than cumbersome.  The organization is currently in the process of incorporating and said it will form a Political Action Committee and hire a lobbyist once formation is complete.

White Castle announced the return of their steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions Original Slider-scented candle.  The candle is only available through the White Castle Online Store.  Originally launched in May, the company sold out of their 10,000-candle supply in just 48 hours.  The candles retail for $13.

A&W Restaurants has announced a new $3 Big Taste Meal menu.  The new menu is the first A&W branded and permanent value menu.  Menu items include the BBQ Bacon Crunch Burger, Cheddar Onion Crunch Burger, Coney Cheese Dog, and Deluxe Cheeseburger.  All sandwiches are served with crispy French Fries.

Subway and multimedia studio Electus have announced they will collaborate on Subway High School Heroes.  The 8-week program began on October 18.  Users are encouraged to nominate and vote for their high school hero.  The award is meant to acknowledge and reward inspirational students, teachers, and staff.  The winner of the grand prize of $10,000 and an Apple iPad will be announced on December 16.  Nominations can be made through the official Subway Facebook page.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is celebrating their second annual Crawfish Festival starting Monday.  The festival will run until November 28.  During the celebration, the restaurant will be introducing a number of limited-time menu items.  In addition to the new menu items, the restaurant will also offer free crawfish samples on December 3.

Fazoli’s has announced the planned opening of their first retail store location.  The newest concept in the Fazoli’s brand will premiere at a St. Louis Wal-Mart in early January 2011.  The restaurant is expected to seat 50 guests and offer the full Fazoli’s menu.  The company has said the move is the first step in its initiative to expand into non-traditional locations.

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches is open for business in Los Angeles.  The award-winning sandwich concept offers guests a unique sandwich experience featuring a variety of more than 50 sandwich creations.  Each of the sandwiches can be custom ordered enabling guests to get the exact sandwich they want.  Customers use a red marker to check off their customizations on a pre-printed sandwich bag and then sit back as their meals are prepared.  Owner Sean Myers said he hopes to open 5-10 additional locations in the Los Angeles market.

Hardee’s has introduced a new item to their breakfast menu.  The Caramel Crumb Biscuit features a made from scratch biscuit covered in caramel sauce, drizzled with icing, and topped with a crumb topping.  The biscuits are available in packages of one, two, or six for 99 cents, $1.69, and $3.99.