Restaurant News Bites: McDonald’s, Yum, CiCi’s Pizza

Restaurant News Bites: McDonald's, Yum, CiCi's Pizza Dan Coudreaut is the executive chef and culinary director for McDonald’s and is responsible for testing and creating all of the foods that the chain serves. He has to balance the desires and favorites of 27 million daily diners with health concerns over high fat and sodium content. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has been in the position for 7 years.

Hot pot is a old style of Asian cuisine that is customizable and adaptable to fast food and casual dining chains. China’s Little Sheep hot pot chain has done so well that American fast food giant Yum! Brands is offering to buy the chain. Yum! owns chains like Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut and is interested in bringing hot pot to America.

Restaurants used to invite reporters, food critics and local politicians for special dinners to build anticipation of a menu change or new addition. But modern restaurants are saving these special seats for bloggers and Twitter users who can reach 10,000 local potential customers with one click of their mouse. Social networking stars are now more valuable to many restaurants than traditional media critics.

CiCi’s Pizza is continuing their drive to offer new and exciting pizza topping combinations with the Cheeseburger Pizza. All national restaurant locations will now carry the new option on the buffet. The pizza is topped with ground beef, pickles, mustard, ketchup and plenty of cheese. Guests can enjoy the taste of a classic cheeseburger without visiting a burger restaurant.

Cold Stone Creamery may be best known for their indulgent and rich ice cream flavors, but the chain has now put low-fat frozen yogurt options in all of their locations. These new yogurt options were tested in limited release at the beginning of the year. Customer demand was high enough to ensure that frozen yogurt became a permanent addition to the Cold Stone menu.

Jamba Juice is ready to help health conscious guests stick to their diet or calorie intake goals. The chain offers 22 different beverages that have less than 250 calories in the 16 oz serving size. Criticism of some of the chain’s less healthy options has caused them to highlight the variety of low calorie choices that are available on the menu.

Subway Restaurants, the world’s largest fast food chain, is supporting the West Alabama Food Bank in feeding the victims of the tornadoes that destroyed much of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It has been a few months since the disaster occurred but the victims still need help. Subway is helping concerned individuals make donations to the food bank through a text-message hotline.

Burton’s Grill, a small restaurant chain based in New England, has added their seventh location in Nashua, New Hampshire. The restaurant is an upscale, full-service dining establishment serving updated American cuisine classics. Other locations can be found in Massachusetts, Virginia and Connecticut.

Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery is celebrating their 60th anniversary with the 60 Days of Celebration promotion. The chain has six locations in Southern California and specializes in burgers, chili and hot dogs. The chain will be giving away .60 menu items throughout the next 60 days until the promotion ends on September 16th.