Restaurant News Bites: Burger King, T.G.I. Friday’s, Wienerschnitzel

Restaurant News Bites: Burger King, T.G.I. Friday's, WienerschnitzelBurger King has introduced a new chicken choice to their menu with Chicken Tenders. With eight different dipping sauces, children and adults alike can have four for $1, eight for $1.99 or 20 for $4.99. To promote these new chicken tenders Burger King is mailing out coupons for 272 million tenders to families around the country. The new chicken tenders has replaced the crown shaped BK Nuggets.

Fast casual restaurants are continuing to grow, with a 17 percent rise in total visits during 2010. While other restaurant categories are losing sales or visits, the combination of a medium price point, fast turnaround and higher quality service and food has made these restaurants very popular during the recession. Many fast casual chains are planning for additional locations this year due to the growth.

Carlson Restaurants, the company that owns the T.G.I. Friday’s chain brand, plans to double their number of operating franchises. They recently announced this plan at the 2011 Global Business Conference. The plan is set for completion in 2015. To support this goal, the company plans to renovate the style and menu of the chain.

The world’s largest hot dog chain, Wienerschnitzel, has announced their new “Cash in On a Corn Dog” sweepstakes. 1 in 5 customers will win some form of a prize by purchasing a corn dog and checking the wooden stick for a prize code. The top prize is $10,000 in cash, but customers can also win smaller cash prizes and free corn dogs.

The rising costs of food, especially meat, have driven many restaurants towards using locally sourced food to avoid high delivery fees. Restaurants are limited in how much they can raise their prices due to the strain on customers from the poor economy. Many are attempting to cut costs instead of using higher prices, and local food can be more affordable due to less need for transportation while gas prices are very high.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, the operating company that manages chains like the Einstein Bros. Bagels and Manhattan Bagels, has added two new Executive Vice Presidents to their roster. Brian Unger was hired as the Executive Vice President of Operations, and Mike Ellis joined the team in the Executive Vice President of Franchises position. Both have extensive experience in the restaurant and real estate industries.

Bob Evans Farms is building their chain of restaurants known as Mimi’s Cafe, and they have named Mark Mears as the chief officer and President of the chain. Mr. Mears comes to the company from a successful position with the Cheesecake Factory. There are currently 145 Mimi’s Cafe locations across the United States.

Chuck E. Cheese’s has expanded their family fun center brand to Mexico with the development of 10 restaurants in the Northeastern region of the country. While this is the company’s initial entry into the country, they operate chain locations in seven total countries around the world. International locations grow the resiliency and overall popularity of a brand.

The BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group is celebrating Earth Day in their BRAVO! Cucina Italiana and BRIO Tuscan Grille locations. Through a partnership with Parducci Wine Cellars the group will aim to donate money for 5,000 trees to the American Forests re-forestation project. Parducci focuses on sustainability in their wine making process, making them the perfect partner for this fund raising event.