International Women’s Day as well as Women’s History Month

International Women’s Day, as defined on their website, “is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”

A number of multinational corporations have made an effort to acknowledge the significance of March 8th, otherwise known as the International Women’s Day. For instance, the KFC divisions in Malaysia have replaced Colonel Sanders with his wife, Claudia as the face of the company for the day. This is an illustration of the appreciation towards hardworking women as Claudia played an integral role in the success of the fast food chain. In addition, the company behind Brawny paper towels have been leading a #StrengthHasNoGender campaign. They have recently announced their decision to switch their famous red flannel-wearing male representative for a female figure in celebration of Women’s History month.

Mentioned in this month’s issue of the New Yorker magazine, Johnnie Walker Black Label, the well-known whisky brand has introduced a new and limited (only available during Women’s History month) edition. Johnnie Walker Black Label the Jane Walker Edition has a unique selling point. Their marketing strategy involves the donation of $1 to a non-profit organization that supports women’s progress initiatives, such as Monumental Women, for every bottle of the Jane Walker Edition sold. The donation could reach a sum of $250,000, depending on the sales.

“Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture, and we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission. We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality.” – Stephanie Jacoby, the Vice President of Johnnie Walker.

These companies are not the only ones who have made some changes to their iconic elements for the course of Women’s History month to advocate for feminism.

It seems that McDonald’s has just joined the party following recent events. A source from Business Insider reveals the approach taken by the international fast food chain.

“The golden “M” will be flipped into a golden “W” in celebration of women everywhere… We have a long history of supporting women in the workplace, giving them the opportunity to grow and succeed. In the U.S. we take pride in our diversity and we are proud to share that today; six out of ten restaurant managers are women,” communicated by Lauren Altmin, a McDonald’s representative in an exchange with CNBC Make It media outlet.

When the change was first implemented in the Lynwood, California branch, many have assumed that it was an unintentional shift; Some thought it was a prank. However, Patricia Williams, the owner of that particular branch, along with other representatives have stood out to clarify the movement.

“For the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women’s Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants. From restaurant crew and management to our C-suite of senior leadership, women play invaluable roles at all levels and together with our independent franchise owners we’re committed to their success,” quote Wendy Lewis, McDonald’s Chief Diversity Officer.

McDonald’s is extending their effort by producing the new golden “W” on “packaging, crew shirts, hats and bag stuffers” in addition to the replacement of the former logo on their social media pages. The special edition packaging and products will only be present at exactly one hundred McDonald’s branches.

It is always heart-warming to see our favorite brands advocate for gender equality as well as women’s rights. While many corporations are making a change, it is obvious that some are extending more efforts than others.

Let us come together and celebrate the month of March, Women’s History month in honor of all the women out there.

Featured Image via Flickr/Mike Mozart

McDonald’s will serve antibiotic-free chicken worldwide

McDonald’s announced yesterday, Aug. 23, that it would begin the process of removing human antibiotics in their chickens worldwide starting in 2018. Currently, McDonald’s only sells antibiotic-free chicken in the America’s. The announcement will bring the fast-food giant into a global effort to “battle dangerous superbugs,” according to Reuters.

The company’s target is antibiotics that are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “highest priority critically important antimicrobials” (HPCIAs) to human medicine. Reuters points out that the plan to phase out antibiotics is still “not as strict as the company’s policy for the United States.” In the US, chicken suppliers have been providing McDonald’s with chickens “raised without antibiotics deemed important to human health” for over a year.

This move will surely have health activists everywhere cheering, as they have been working to get Big Food to stop using human antibiotics in meat for years. Grub Street reminds us of activists’ efforts, citing their “staging a shareholder’s revolt against McDonald’s and publicly shaming In-N-Out.”

Although their plans will roll out in 2018, some suppliers will have up to January 2027 to comply with the new standard.

With the New Year, chickens in Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Europe will all be raised without HPCIAs. The only exception will be Europe, where the company will use Colistin, “a last resort antibiotic,” when necessary.

Suppliers in Australia and Russia will stop using HPCIAs by the end of 2019. European suppliers will also be required to stop the use of Colistin at this time.

The rest of the markets will follow, complying with the new rules by January 2027.

Per Reuters, McDonald’s told a “ group of consumer and environmental organizations on Aug. 17 that 74 percent of its global chicken sales will conform to this policy as of January 2018.”

Along with the production of antibiotic-free chicken, McDonald’s hopes to propel similar plans forward for antibiotic-free beef. As part of yesterday’s announcement, the company said they are “working on” further plans to get rid of human antibiotics for beef, pork, dairy cows, and egg-laying hens.

McDonald’s Masters Change with Big Mac

Several changes in the classic McDonald’s menu benefited the company’s business by a surprising amount. Earnings this past quarter were higher than predicted with a global rise in same-store sales of 1.3 percent and an increase of growth of 4 percent.

The menu changes and promotions made by CEO Steve Easterbrook put McDonald’s ahead of competitors including IHOP and Sonic Corp. The fast food industry as a whole experienced a recent decrease in sales which McDonald’s is now overcoming.

U.S. markets have become increasingly difficult to succeed in for both McDonald’s and competitors as traffic diminished in the first quarter. Fast-food industry same-store sales fell by 0.6 percent in March continuing a 4-month trend of decrease.

In a successful attempt to regain ground Easterbrook implemented several menu changes. Drink promotions of $1 and $2 deals paired with new sizes for the famous Big Mac, the even bigger Grand Mac and the smaller Mac Jr., drew in customers without making dramatic changes which risk attracting controversy.

Menu changes are historically risky, especially with well-known and popular products. The 2015 recipe change of Diet Pepsi and the famously abysmal failure of Coca-Cola’s “New Coke” in 1985 are prime examples.

However, Easterbrook’s changes have been met with success as U.S. same-store sales rose by a surprising 1.7 percent last quarter. The period saw earnings of $1.47 per share beating the prediction by analysts of $1.34 per share.

The increase is partially due to a rise in prices of about 2 percent this year. Other factors, including the long-lasting effects of the all-day breakfast policy implemented in 2015, contributed to recent success.

The McDonald’s Corp.’s stock experienced a 10 percent gain over the past year as of Monday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index conversely, climbed by only 6 percent.

The stock also experienced the biggest intraday increase since October 2015 to $141.99. This is a raise of 5.8 percent.

Changes in offerings overseas were also successful. Efforts to improve customer service in Canada and new menu items in the U.K. contributed to an increase in international sales. McDonald’s leading international markets rose by 2.8 percent.

Additionally, an increase in store openings in China contributed to sales. Efforts are being made to compete with KFC and Pizza Hut stores owned there by Yum China Holdings Inc.

About two-thirds of total revenue for the company are brought in by overseas markets so success in these areas is of key importance. The high-growth division reported a rise of 3.8 percent in same-store sales surpassing the predicted 2.7 percent.

The chain’s total revenue last quarter was $5.68 billion which is higher than the average projected revenue by $150 million. Easterbrook plans to keep revenue rising through exploring digital options and delivery services.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s Hopes Better Burger Brings Customers Back

McDonald’s has expectations to create not only adequate delivery service but better quality burgers. The fast food giant hopes to bounce back after “hundreds of millions” of lost customers by creating more digital friendly options at its restaurants.

Many of McDonald’s customers abandoned the fast food chain due to dip in food quality and value. McDonald’s has plans to do what it can in order to bring its customers back. Shares for the fast food chain came to a jolt on Wednesday as the McDonald’s executives proposed their plans to investors.

The executives hope to increase growth in customers by 3-5 percent as soon as 2019. After its proposal, shares for McDonald’s went up about 1 percent and closed at $129.05. CEO of McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook made a comment on the plan saying, “To grow, we must grow guest counts. It’s as plain and simple as that.”

McDonald’s has already made moves to increase customer count. They began serving breakfast all day as well as offering junior and jumbo-sized Big Mac. Despite all that, as well as turning over more restaurants to franchisees, executives believe that the company needs to do more in order to bring its customers back.

The fast food giant hopes to do this by ramping up its food quality as well as any other means that will not only bring back old customers but attract new ones. The company senior vice-president, Lucy Brady commented on the falling food quality saying, “Some of our best customers just aren’t visiting as much as they used to and we know why.”

One of the steps that McDonald’s is turning to is expanding its option of delivery. In Asia and the Middle East, many McDonald’s locations offer the option of delivery at nearly 3,500 locations. Yet many it’s estimated that nearly 75 percent of U.S. residents live at least three miles from a McDonald’s, therefore, the company is looking to further develop its delivery options in the U.S.

McDonald’s also wants to expand its McCafe options that offer coffee drink options. McCafe makes up at least 14 percent of business in Australia. There McCafe has baristas and even spaces in the café for customers.

McDonald’s has also expressed its interest in using kiosk technology. Recently Wendy’s announced that it would be doing the same in order to draw in a younger crowd and increase productivity when it comes to ordering and making food. The kiosks would allow customers order and pay for sandwiches from kiosks instead of going to the counter.

This is estimated to take place by the end of the year at nearly 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants. The fast food company says that it also hopes that by 2020 nearly all of its 14,000 restaurants will be revamped bringing in more traffic.

McDonald’s is hoping to reinvent itself. The company is searching for ways to move further into the future with newer technology like kiosks. The company is searching for ways to make its ingredients fresher starting when it began using cage-free eggs. McDonald’s wanted to alter its ingredients to compete with the customer demand for quicker service and meals, but now the company has decided to switch to higher quality and fresher ingredients to keep up with current consumer demand. Easterbrook believes that with the company will be able to experience a turnaround in growth very soon.

McDonald’s Engineered New Straws for Shamrock Shakes

McDonald’s recently said that it has better engineered a straw that will allow its customers to better enjoy the shamrock shake. McDonald’s sought the help of two engineering companies, JACE and NK Labs, in order to achieve its goal.

What brought about this new change? McDonald’s is currently coming out with new flavors of the shake, like chocolate for example, and wants its customers to be able to experience the full flavor of the shakes. Yet to some a straw is just a straw. Most would like to know how has McDonald’s managed to engineer a straw that will better enhance drinking pleasures?

The fast food giant says, that the new straw design has the ability to deliver chocolate and mint in equal flavor ratio. That’s something a typical straw isn’t capable of. Even the principal engineer on the job, Seth Newburg, commented that “It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal.”

The result of all the engineers hard work and effort paid off with the result of STRAW or Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal. It is believed that STRAW has the capability to demonstrate wondrous dynamics when it comes to fluids. It design was in part thanks to the aid of Fibonacci’s sequence which in turn was developed thanks to the mathematical genius, Leonardo Fibonacci.

Let it be known that the hardworking engineers at JACE and NK Labs put a lot of hard work into the production of STRAW. It took months to produce the right results. Even though this entire ordeal would prove a bit flamboyant especially when talents of such engineers could be put to far better uses, it shows that McDonald’s would choose only the best when it comes to enhancing the flavor experience of its consumers.

The consumer can be on the lookout for this invention that is set to hit at least 80 McCafe sites as the Shamrock shake makes it appearance in the next few weeks for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. However, due to the STRAW’s unique design, there might not be enough for everyone. In fact, McDonald’s says it only ordered around 2,000 or so because larger orders wouldn’t arrive in time for the holiday.

Yet when it comes to enjoying your shamrock shake with your newly designed straw don’t think you’re limited to just one flavor. The straw can be used to enjoy the flavors of the Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, Shamrock Mocha, and Shamrock Hot Chocolate.

McDonald’s hoped that this new campaign will hold out a bit better as opposed to previous ones. For instance, making the happy meal healthier didn’t go over as well as the company had hoped. The campaign allowed for the replacement of toys in the happy meal box for fitness trackers. There was also the switch from French fries to apples which McDonald’s learned caused problems between parent and children.

However, there are high hopes for the STRAW. “From a physics perspective, it’s actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip,” Newburg said, yet somehow McDonald’s has managed to do so.

McDonald’s Customer Count Continues To Drop

McDonald’s numbers haven’t exactly been ideal when it comes to its customer traffic. When the fast food chain decided to sell breakfast all day, the company saw a slight increase in sales number. However, that number isn’t as high as expected.

Just last year customer count dropped by 2.1 percent. That’s just shy of the 3 percent the burger chain saw the year before, and the fourth year in a row that customer count dropped for McDonald’s.

In an effort to bring more customers through its doors, McDonald’s started it McPick 2 campaign last January. However, the low prices of food favorites didn’t draw the crowd McDonald’s had expected. In fact, while some stores let the promotion drift on and off others kept it going.

Even McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook commented saying, “The McPick menu does work well for customers. But that alone isn’t winning market share on the value end.”

When it comes to customer traffic breakfast isn’t the main issue. On the other hand, when it comes to lunch and dinner, that’s when the numbers have the tendency to drop. With a 12.5 to 13.5 percent drop in customer count, somehow McDonald’s had a strong profit gain.

Company margins shot up 17 percent from its previous 15.2 percent. The company believes that it will be able to bring its traffic percentage up to par. Perks like the $1 McCafe special, along with the two new Big Mac sizes, could bring in more traffic.

McDonald’s to Shift Business in China

In efforts to revamp its franchise in the international market, McDonald’s will sell at least 80 percent of its business in Hong Kong and throughout China. McDonald’s already operates and estimated 65 percent of the 2,000 outlets it owns in China. This new move will help McDonald’s build its franchising worldwide.

McDonald’s announced that it was on the lookout for partners to create over 1,500 restaurants in China and Korea within the next five years. Citic, China’s investment group, along with the U.S. firm Carlyle Group agreed to a deal with an estimated value of $2.1 billion.  The benefits of franchising will allow McDonald’s to cut the cost of sales as well as operating costs.

On Monday, both parties signed an agreement that would give McDonald’s 20 percent stake in China’s business. Citic holds 52 percent while Carlyle will take the remaining 28 percent.

McDonald’s isn’t the only restaurant brand to head to China for business. Yum Brands, who owns KFC and Pizza Hut are also researching business in China. Yum Brands and McDonald’s, although they are rivals, have competition from other local businesses. This competition can especially be found in China where there have been a large amount of food safety scares.

McDonald’s has Revealed That They have a Secret Menu

Fast-food restaurants frequently keep popping up in the news. Whether it is for their unhealthy food, worker’s compensations or any other food safety or business issues, American restaurant chains surely do find themselves in entertaining situations.

McDonald’s is probably one of the most popular restaurants from the list of controversial chains. With issues like pink slime, minimum wage, being sued and so much more, it has surely become a resilient business.

But in less image-damaging news, the restaurant has recently revealed that they also have a secret menu. A U.K. based McDonald’s manager has revealed that the restaurant allegedly got a secret menu with fascinating burgers like the Land, Sea and Air burger and also something called the McGangbang.

However, when a rep for the restaurant was interviewed and questioned about the secret menu, he said,

“We do not have a secret menu at McDonald’s UK. That’s because we love the food that we serve in our restaurants and we don’t want to keep it a secret from our customers. Any requests for extra items or changes to our products are considered at the restaurant manager’s discretion and any additional items may be charged for.”

Image: Via Flickr/Mike Mozart

Apple Pay Now Available in the U.K.

Apple users in the U.K. need not fret because as of Tuesday, Apple Pay was launched for its users.

Until now, this feature had only been launched in the U.S. since October 2014.

The anticipation has been building since a tweet was accidentally released by HSBC UK saying that July 14 would be the official launch date. The tweet was taken down soon after, but not before word spread.

As of now, there are seven banks that participate in Apple Pay: American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank.

A spokesperson from Barclay spoke with Business Insider saying,

“We are really excited about the launch of Apple Pay and can confirm that we will bring Barclay’s debit cards and Barclaycard credit cards to Apple Pay in the future.”

This feature is still only available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both in stores and online. The Apple Watch is compatible with the payment method in stores only and the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 only have this feature available online.

To set up, go into the Passbook app, and from there, you can enter your credit card information. Major credit cards being accepted as of now are Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

If the prospect of your phone holding so much personal information about you is daunting, Apple has some reassuring words.

“With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in Secure Element, a dedicated chip in iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.”

This means that the retailer never actually gets any of your credit card information, and if the system was to ever be hacked, there would be no chance of your cards being compromised.

Using Apple Pay will require you to set up the touch ID feature on your phone. Unlike when you’re making a purchase in the app or music store, Apple Pay requires a thumb print identification as opposed to a password.

Although not all of the larger U.K. companies seem to be eager to participate in Apple Pay as of now, there are still over 250 thousand companies that will take Apple Pay. Food chains such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, drugstores like Boots and gas companies like BP are all interested.

Other companies are offering Apple with in app purchases such as Topshop, Etsy and Zara.

Before users get too excited, Apple Insider has an important piece of information from a report that users should keep in mind.

“Apple Pay Vice President Jennifer Bailey confirmed current point of sale terminal software is capable of processing low cost transactions without verification, though purchases above 20 pounds (31 US dollars) will need software upgrades. Once merchants decide to update their POS systems, the limit is expected to rise up to 30 pounds in September.”

If you don’t see your bank on the list of participating companies, Apple has noted that several others are “coming soon.” This includes Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank and TSB.

HSBC spokesperson has told BBC that,

“We are working hard to bring this to our customers by the end of July.”

Reports surfaced in May that Apple Pay was in talks about coming to China, but there hasn’t been much else released on the matter since.

Apple Pay will be getting a makeover when the iOS 9 launches this fall.

TechCrunch reported that Passbook will be simply be called “wallet” and that,

“The upgraded app will also allow customers to store loyalty and rewards cards in addition to their payment cards and passes.”

Image: Via Apple

Parents Complain About McDonald’s Happy Meal Minion Toy

Even to this day, one of the most exciting things about a happy meal is the toy at the bottom of the carton. However old one may be the toy is actually the happiest part of the meal.

Usually, the toys that feature during the month in the meal are promotional for whatever kiddie flicks are currently releasing.

This time with the release of the minion’s movie, McDonald’s has decided to give out a few variants of minion toys. When these toys are tapped, they speak in the infamous “Minionese” language that the fictional creatures use to communicate.

However, these toys have left a few parents absolutely outraged. Apparently when one of the toy variants is tapped, it sounds like they say the “F” word.

Lisa McComb who is a spokesperson for McDonald’s has said,

“Minions speak ‘Minionese,’ which is a random combination of many languages and nonsense words and sounds. We’re aware of a very small number of customers who have been in touch regarding this toy, and we apologize for any confusion or offense to those who may have interpreted the sounds for anything other than gibberish. [But] the allegation that this toy is saying any offensive phrase is not true.”

McComb profoundly described the situation by saying,

“The Minion Caveman Happy Meal toy includes three phrases: ‘para la bukay,’ ‘hahaha,’ and ‘eh eh.’ Any perceived similarities to actual English words are purely coincidental.”

McDonald’s Starts Serving Lobster Rolls

McDonald’s has been one of the oldest fast-food chain restaurants around. With time it has faced both good and bad press. However, these days with McDonald’s contributing generously towards making its patrons unhealthy, they have really been trying to keep the customers coming.

This time McDonald’s is trying by making the menu a bit more exciting, at least for the customers around the north-east of the United States; The lobster roll will be making an appearance on the McDonald’s menu once more.

The lobster roll will be priced at $7.99 and for $10.00 within the value meal. One of the spokesperson, Nicole Garvey said, “The return of the lobster roll is exciting because we have requests for it every summer. It’s a delicious sandwich and we are thrilled to offer this regional favorite at a great value.”

The sandwich is made from north-Atlantic lobster meat and has only 290 calories. This is indeed quite impressive for a meal at McDonald’s. The lobster roll was successful a while ago in Canada as well.

The sandwich was on the menus in New England in the year 2005. The lobster roll will be making a comeback fairly soon.

McDonald’s All Set to Make Changes to their Burgers

If you were one of those people who never did rank McDonald’s in your top 10 list of burgers, you might have some re-thinking to do. Lately, the burgers at McDonald’s were entirely unimpressive and the patty lacked a decent flavor.

However, the fast-food restaurant chain is all out to make changes to their current business pattern. Now, apparently it isn’t just the business that will undergo changes, but rather something more important.

McDonald’s has finally started to focus on what their business has really been about – the burgers. Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of McDonald’s, has said that the restaurant will change the way they grill their burgers so the patty will be juicier.

Easterbrook went on to say, “It’s these little things that add up to big differences for our customers.” The new CEO who stepped into his new role on the first of March has already decided to make a few major changes.

It isn’t just the meat in the patty that will taste different, McDonald’s will also serve their burger on warmer buns. Therefore, the restaurant is all set to give the overall burger a decent makeover. Only time will tell if the changes will be effective or not.

Image: Via Flickr/Mike Mozart

Subway to Stop Using Artificial Ingredients

Subway has always been the “go to” restraint when one intends to eat some guilt-free fast food. In recent times, with the cohort of unhealthy ingredients that are used by chains like ‘McDonalds’, ‘KFC’ and many other, Subway was the better choice.

Certainly the lesser of two evils, Subway is now planning to get better. The restaurant will now join the bandwagon of places that have started to go all natural. The restaurant will use no artificial ingredients from now on.

The director of Subway’s corporate social responsibility, Elizabeth Stewart has said, “Ingredient improvement has been an ongoing process over the years. The chain has been working on removing caramel color from cold cuts like roast beef and ham. For its turkey, Subway says it plans to replace a preservative called proprionic acid with vinegar by the end of this year.”

When asked about the toppings and core ingredients of the sandwich, she said, “Subway is switching to banana peppers colored with turmeric instead of the artificial dye Yellow No. 5. Without providing details, she said the chain is also working on its sauces and cookies.”

After changes like these, Subway is certainly going to be more of a “guilt-free” fast-food chain.


Edited by Priscilla Manzo

McDonald’s Employees Still Angry About Their Wages

Employees are demanding higher wages from the multi-billion dollar fast food company, McDonald’s, as well as other employees from various fast food places and restaurants.

Thousands of McDonald’s workers protested outside the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois while the company had their big annual two day meeting. They are demanding an increase in minimum wage from the $7.25 most are receiving now to $15 an hour.

Protests from minimum wage worker in the food and retail industry have become a common occurrence and have created a national debate on each states minimum wage.

McDonald’s has already responded to their employees wage complaints before and have even improved their wages, but it does not seem to be enough.

A McDonald’s employee, Tyree Johnson, 47, was among the protesters Wednesday May 20 and told Reuters, “They keep telling me they value me but they don’t give me more money.”

Johnson has been a loyal worker to the franchise, being with the company since 1992 and his hourly pay is still only $8.55 an hour. He says he is forced to live in a men’s hotel because he is unable to pay for rent to get his own apartment.

According to McDonald’s, they regularly check on wage issues and respect their employees “right to peacefully protest” says Heidi Barker, the company’s spokeswoman.

The new chief executive, Steve Easterbrook, has already made changes by increasing the locally mandated minimum wage by $1, but it will not be effective till July 1. McDonald’s is expecting to slowly increase their wage and is projected to be $10 per hour by 2016.

Yet, not all McDonald’s locations will see this change. In fact only 9,000 workers and 1,500 U.S. store locations will benefit from their increases. That is leaving out about 660,000 employed McDonald’s workers.

And even with the increase, many workers say it is still too low to make any real effect. They still can not afford housing and living expenses on the salary they promise.

The employer’s protest have reached out to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who is challenging the franchise through legislative and regulatory channels.

During the meeting Wednesday head pension fund leaders told McDonald’s and similar companies that they may be hurting their own company’s future by keeping an excessive amount of money for their investors instead of returning the excess money to employers.

Many states are slowly increasing their minimum wages and are already above the average $7.25 per hour federal minimum.

Image via Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Panera Bread Releases the No No List

Panera Bred has set a goal to ban certain unhealthy ingredients from their menu by the end of 2016.

In a statement, CEO Ron Shaich said, “Last year we unveiled our Food Policy to hold ourselves accountable to long held valuables and set the future vision for our menu. The No No List is the latest step on our journey to clean food and a transparent menu.”

A downloadable list is available on Panera Bread’s website called the “No No List” which informs restaurant goers of the bad ingredients that will be removed progressively over the next year and a half

Senior Quality Assurance Manager at Panera Sara Burnett told, “We are basically cleaning out our pantry.”

Some of the better known ingredients on the list are caffeine, lard, certain artificial flavorings, and artificial colors.

Panera Bread guessed that about 85% of their menu items have been eliminated from their food menu, and they are in works to remove even more of them.

There are roughly 150 ingredients that will be removed from the menu, as of now, over the next year and a half. As of right now, this list will only apply to the foods served by Panera, but consideration is being put into the drinks.

Panera’s food policy wants to create a menu that everyone can understand, they want to only serve and work with clean ingredients and use 100% pure meat in their food.

In their current food policy they explain that they have vegetarian fed animals, who have not ingested antibiotics, and are cage free. The humane treatment of animals is hard to find in many popular food restaurants chains.

Panera Bread’s efforts are part of a growing initiative by restaurants everywhere to make their food healthier for their consumers.

According to, McDonald’s plans to remove use of chickens who ingested antibiotics, and Chipotle is cutting out GMO foods.

Other companies are vowing to remove artificial flavors such as Nestlé and Kraft.

In a video on Panera Bread’s website called “Unacceptable Ingredients” they have people pronounce ingredients that seem almost unpronounceable.

In the videos it’s shown that there are a large amount of ingredients used in Panera Bread’s foods that their customers can’t understand, Panera is determined to remove it from their menu to create a healthy eating experience.

A message appears on the screen saying, “If the ingredients in your food are unpronounceable, we believe they shouldn’t be in your food.”

These videos are in connection to the conversation that Panera Bread is trying to create amongst their fans. This is done with the use of the Panera Goodness campaign.

Panera Bread in Chicago's South Loop
Panera Bread in Chicago’s South Loop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Panera Bread tweeted, “Good food means something different to everyone. Tell us what good food means to you.”

On Panera Bread’s Twitter, Christina S. said, “Eating good food makes me feel great. Makes me feel amazing. Refreshes me in the morning.”

Their firs initiative is that starting Wednesday, Panera Bread will only serve salad dressings without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives. This is part of the effort to create a healthier menu.

Panera Bread’s Head Chef Dan Kish said, “Dressings have been one of the most complex projects given the number of artificial additives – namely flavors and preservatives – conventionally used for taste and consistency.”

Kish is sure that the new dressings created from this movement will taste better than ever.

In many situations, Panera Bread realized that things like food coloring were things that would be easy to remove from their foods, while there be little change to the actual food. It will be both an adjustment for the restaurant and restaurant goers as they are the ones who will be feeling the effects of the new ingredients.

With Panera Bread’s initiative, this has the potential light the spark under many other restaurants.

Chipotle Beating Out McDonald’s in Fast Food

Chipotle, which once was under McDonald’s investments, is now a big competitor for the multi-billion dollar company.

Back in 1998 burger chain McDonald’s held a 90% share in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and was a big reason for their success. With their help Chipotle grew from just 14 locations to over 500 in just seven years.

But the company went through many complications because of McDonald’s attempt to control Chipotle. Business Insider reports that McDonald’s had suggestions such as adding drive thrus and serving breakfast, changing its name by adding a ‘Fresh’ to it, making its menu specific to each area, and controlling its commercials.

“I would think of it in terms of McDonald’s being the rich uncle and Chipotle as the petulant nephew where we take the money and are grateful but are stubborn and strong-willed enough that we’re going to do what we want with it anyway,” A Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Bloomberg.

Since McDonald’s sold their share, the Chipotle chain’s stocks have risen from $42 to $650.

McDonald’s may have to worry for the simple reason that, with everyone becoming educated in health andethical choices, Chipotle sounds more appealing.

With Chipotle’s “food with integrity” moto they ensure use of naturally-raised and organically-produced food, which is something the average fast food restaurant does not usually produce.


Via PhotoPin

A small menu may seem unappealing, but with Chipotle’s menu the customer has the option to uniquely custom make their meal. It can also help them remember the menu for the next visit.

Chipotle is corporate-owned, not a franchise. Many view franchises negatively with cheap suppliers and low employee wages.

Chipotle is a delectable mix of both fast food and sit-down dining. An easy decision for any customer when contemplating what to eat in a hurry.

Chipotle isn’t McDonald’s only competition; other growing chains like burger joints Shake Shack and Five Guys and chicken competitors Chick-fil-A are becoming popular as well.


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In attempts to regain their popularity McDonald’s has tried many stunts over the years that all have yet to succeed.

Not too long ago they tried introducing chicken wings to their menu but it did not catch enough popularity to last.

They tried following the hashtag trend with their own #McDStories. The hashtag ended up being used negatively on social media sites and hurt the company instead of helping.

Having numerous bad reputations on their food quality, they announced that they would not use chicken raised using antibiotics in their products.

They raised their workers salaries and even gave out paid vacation days to some employees and for student employees, giving them financial assistance.

Detroit Police Arrest Dozens of Fast-Food Protesters

Police in Detroit arrested dozens of demonstrators who took part in a nationwide fast-food protest. Hundreds of workers from various fast-food chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC, planned and orchestrated a strike to bump hourly wages to $15. Protesters reportedly wore T-shirts that read “$15” and sat in the middle of a road. The protesters refused to move when asked to do so by police, and the sum of all arrests was estimated to be between 20 and 40.

According to a Mashable report, many fast-food employees don’t make much more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, which totals approximately $15,000 a year based on a 40-hour work week. When compared to the United States as a whole, according to, the median income for Americans in 2013 was $50,502.

Michigan’s fast-food workers saw a bump from $7.40 per hour to $8.15 per hour just this week. Although that totals a difference in annual salary of less than $3,000, it’s a step in the right direction.

Industry official Scott DeFife, the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president, feels that the goals of the protesters aren’t realistic. In a New York Times report, DeFife said of the wage increase,”It would have consequences on hiring patterns for Main Street businesses across the country.”

Nonetheless, the movement for higher wages has gained support from President Obama. Obama has put a higher minimum wage on his priority list, and he recently mentioned the movement at a Labor Day appearance in Milwaukee.

“There’s a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.”

McDonald’s Sales Forecast Plummets After China Food Scare

McDonald’s will likely suffer a noticeable drop in their sales forecast for 2014 after a Chinese TV report exposed workers at a supplier using expired meat and altering food production dates. In a statement, McDonald’s said, “”As a result of the China supplier issue, the company’s global comparable sales forecast for 2014 is now at risk.”

The fast-food chain added that sales have dipped in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, by 7.3%. There couldn’t be a worse time for the food scare, as McDonald’s in China still hasn’t recovered from a separate food scandal and a bird flu outbreak that ravaged sales last year. Despite the bad news, McDonald’s shares dropped by only 0.1% in Friday morning trading.

A bigger worry for the Golden Arches is serious competition from Wendy’s and Burger King. Stagnated job and wage growth have cut directly into overall sales. U.S. McDonald’s restaurants sales fell 3.2% in July. Sales have been down or flat since 2013.

McDonald’s is still the #1 global food chain, with more than 18,000 international restaurants. Kentucky Fried Chicken is #2 with 11,798 restaurants. Subways comes in at #3 with 10,109 restaurants. McDonald’s hires about one million workers in the U.S. every year. One in eight American workers have been employed by McDonald’s. Former employees include Shania Twain, Jay Leno and Pink.



Beijing and Guangzhou McDonald’s to Restore Full Menu

McDonald’s, which was forced to stop providing certain items on its menu due to a food safety scandal, will reinstate its full menu in some Chinese cities this week.

According to Reuters, Beijing and Guangzhou’s McDonald’s will restore full menus this week while Shanghai’s menus will go back to normal later this month.

“We will go back to the origin of the food, where the food comes from, so it will take a longer time and is not as easy as people may think. We are doing a very stringent inspection to make sure the food meets the government’s requirement and McDonald’s standards,” a spokeswoman in China told Reuters.

The giant fast-food chain stopped buying meat from Shanghai Husi Food, a part of the OSI Group, after it was accused of mixing expired meat with fresh food and ignoring the production dates. The decision led to meat shortages in its Chinese stores, and thus menu cuts.


Read also: McDonald’s and Yum Brands: Food Safety Scare in China


Chinese police have arrested six people of Shanghai Husi for the matter.

The food safety scandal not only affected McDonald’s, but also other fast-food chains in China. Yum, which owns KFC and Pizza Hut, said the incident had led to “significant negative” damages to its sales.

McDonald’s and Yum Brands: Food Safety Scare in China

McDonald’s and KFC are once again at the middle of a health and safety scare concerning the meat they are selling in their restaurants in China. On Monday, July 21, a Shanghai news channel reported that their food supplier, Husi Food Co., sold them expired beef and chicken, according to USA Today.

Husi allegedly repackaged stale meat and put new expiration dates on the packaging before distributing the meat to McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut. McDonald’s Corp. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC and Pizza Hut, stated that they have stopped using meat from that company in light of these recent allegations.

McDonald’s and Yum both issued apologies in each of their statements, and they will be conducting their own separate investigations. Husi has been ordered to halt operations while authorities investigate.

“If confirmed, the practices outlined in the report are completely unacceptable to Mcdonald’s,” the golden-arches company said, according to LA Times. They went on to say they have “zero tolerance for illegal behavior.”

According to USA Today, KFC is China’s biggest food chain, with over 4,000 restaurants and Yum plans to open an additional 700 restaurants before year’s end. This could hurt the fried-chicken restaurant’s recovery, as they were only just recently rebounding from the health scare of 2012, in which KFC and McDonald’s were found to be adding excessive amounts of antibiotics into their chicken. Yum’s sales in China dropped 40 percent after that scandal, according to LA Times.


Read also: Yum! Reports Second Quarter Losses


“Chinese consumers have been through several [rounds] of food scares and they are getting tired of these problems… It seems like there is a scandal every year and that becomes troublesome,” said John Gordon, founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group in an LA Times article.

China has suffered a slew of food and drug scandals in recent years. In 2008, six infants, as well as countless hospital patients and others were killed by adulterated milk powder and medicines. Wal-Marts in China have also been exposed for injecting fox meat into donkey meat products and for selling expired duck meat.