Our Fast Food Channel covers news and menu additions to brands within the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry. Typically Fast Food or QSRs are categorizes by food that is prepared and served very quickly, typically associated with food sold out of a restaurant or storefront using preheated or precooked ingredients.
With the launch of both their bubble tea and Boba Tea, Dunkin Donuts have been making some pretty big moves this summer, but one change goes far beyond a refreshing beverage.
Today Food reports that 450 Dunkin’ locations will shut down by the end of this year as a result of the donut and coffee chain ending its deal with Hess Corporation, which owns Speedway gas stations.
This means that the 450 locations set to close will all be ones located within Speedway locations. These spots offer only a limited Dunkin’ menu and are much smaller than the chain’s standalone restaurants.
While they are shutting down their Speedway locations, Dunkin did mention to Today that by doing so, they’ll be in a better position to open new full-service stores in the areas of closure.
Currently, there are more than 8,500 Dunkin’ locations nationwide. The upcoming closuress are planned to be completed by the end of 2020.
Last year, select Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in California, Indiana, and Detroit began testing the Colonel’s new Secret Recipe Fries. The new side option was named for featuring all of the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices in its cooking. This week, Secret Recipe Fries gets a permanent spot on KFC’s national menu, but it comes at a somber bit of a cost.
The Colonel is discontinuing its iconic potato wedges, reports Business Insider as the Secret Recipe Fries take their place as a permanent potato proxy for consumers.
I’ve called a few stores to confirm, hoping to God that there were a few wayward wedges left to order before it was too late. Alas, a fruitless wedge-less endeavor.
Look for the Secret Recipe Fries now at KFC locations nationwide.
Impossible Foods has joined yet another fast-food chain by beefing up (apologies for the pun) Starbucks’ breakfast lineup with a new meatless sandwich. The new sandwich features one of Impossible’s newest proteins: the vegan sausage patty.
The new breakfast option features an Impossible Sausage patty, a fried egg, and aged cheddar cheese sandwiched between Ciabatta bread.
It should be noted though, that while the patty is entirely plant-based the sandwich itself is far from it with the egg and cheese rounding it out.
Still, if you’re trying to go for something meatless in your morning commute, this a pretty solid option especially if you’re looking for something more on the savory side of breakfast.
Boba and milk tea have become wildly popular across the entire United States. Chains featuring the drink and tapioca balls have popped up at locations just about everywhere, and there’s even creative versions like creme brûlée topped boba that have captivated the country.
In a sign that big brands are really starting to look at the popular beverage topping, Dunkin’ has begun testing a couple of drinks that contain boba on the East Coast.
Available now through mid-August, according to Mass Live, two variations are being served: Bubble Iced Coffee, and Bubble Iced Tea. Dunkin’ confirmed to Foodbeast that these are made with brown sugar-flavored syrup, and the boba are brown sugar-flavored as well.
Dunkin’s description of the drinks are as follows: “Dunkin’s signature beverages are sweetened with brown sugar syrup and new brown sugar-flavored bubbles for delicious sweetness you both can sip and chew. Both tasty new beverages are served with a special, extra-wide Bubble paper straw.”
The drinks are part of a larger batch of different beverages being tested across the Northeast. Dunkin’s take on boba is offered at five locations in New York, as well as five locations in Massachusetts. Those locations can be found below:
4 Harding Ave.
112 N. Genesee St.
1701 Black River Blvd. N
751 Meadow St.
55 Maple St.
694 Page Blvd.
1155 Erie Blvd., W
81 Oriskany Blvd.
9221 River Rd.
568 Belmont Ave.
Dunkin’ is not the first major American chain to have sold boba in the US, as Panda Express has had it at their Tea Bar locations for a while now. However, this is the first time a major fast food chain is offering the drinks out of one of their regular locations.
In late 2019, Taco Bell tested a Grilled Cheese Burrito, which consisted of a burrito wrapped in a shell of crispy, melted cheese. That test appears to have done well, as the burrito has now made its way onto menus nationwide.
The cheese-crusted burrito is filled with rice, red crispy strips, a three cheese blend, reduced fat sour cream, chipotle sauce, and a choice of seasoned beef or beans.
Taco Bell’s newest item may be inspired by the cheese-crusted breakfast burritos of Los Angeles, where spots like Burrito Bomba and Low Key Burritos have taken over social media for their own cheese-crusted renditions.
Grilled Cheese Burritos will be available for a limited time. They’ll be sold on their own for $2.99 each or as part of a $5 box that includes Cinnamon Twists, a crunchy taco, and a medium soda drink.
Popping boba, encapsulated pearls that burst when you bite into them, have yet to make it onto the menus of major fast food chains in America. While they’ve become popular at froyo shops — the concept of boba and its popularity have been a thing for a while now — it has yet to penetrate the biggest chains in food.
That all changed with Del Taco’s most recent introduction, Sprite Poppers. Made with popping boba topped over Sprite and ice, the new drinks mark the first time a major fast food chain has added the unique topping to their menu.
Del Taco’s offer consists of two flavors, mango or cherry popping boba, that are piled on top of the iced beverage. The drinks cost $1.29 each, roughly the same price as a small soft drink.
For those curious, popping boba is typically made by encapsulating a liquid, such as juice or flavored syrup, within a “shell” made from a calcium solution and sodium alginate, which is a gelling protein found in seaweed. It’s the reaction between the calcium and alginate protein that leads to the gel-like capsules to form.
They’re typically difficult to make at scale, making Del Taco’s addition of these drinks noteworthy. Whether it leads to more popping boba drinks coming to fast food, or even the addition of real boba itself, remains to be seen.
Del Taco’s Sprite Poppers will be available for a limited time.
In celebration of National Burger Day, Off the Menu, the LA-based food discovery app, teamed up with Uber Eats to host The Burger Showdown. The challenge paired more than 60 celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Paris Hilton, and Dwyane Wade with restaurants in 10 cities to create their ultimate burger, available exclusively on Uber Eats. Even better, the Showdown supported Frontline Foods, a grassroots organization that supports local restaurants while feeding frontline workers and impacted communities..
Each pairing created a video sharing their burger inspiration and recipe, which lived on theburgershowdown.com for fans and burger lovers to watch and vote on their favorite before ordering on Uber Eats from May 28-31.
And, the winners are in:
Best Burger (US):
The Best Burger in the US was awarded to The Jacobite, made by Scottish actor Sam Heughan and Boston’s The Haven. It’s made with a chuck beef patty smothered in bacon-infused marmalade, pickle sauce, arugula, tomatoes, Huntsman cheese, deep fried onions, and a hand-cut french fry wedge served on a milk bun to create a deviously rich burger.
Best Burger (Canada):
The Best Canadian Burger was won by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner and The Burger’s Priest. The Mitch One-Six Burger kept it simple, with a smashed patty, cheddar cheese, thick cuts of bacon, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, the famed High Priest Sauce, and a classic, soft house bun. Simple, to the point, and dependable.
Most Creative Collaboration:
The winners of the Most Creative Collaboration, Shay Mitchell and NYC’s Flip Sigi, created the Filipino-inspired Shay Sigi Burger, which featured a three-meat burger that bonded longanisa, ground beef, and bacon. Seared on a hot pan, the amalgamation of a patty was topped with pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, a homemade banana ketchup, and a pan de sal bun.
Best Plant-Based Burger:
Max Greenfield and Chicago’s Busy Burger’s collab, the Busy Max Veggie Delight, won the Best Plant-Based Burger presented by Lightlife. Here’s the juicy deets: Two Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers topped with pepper jack cheese and cut with guacamole and sauteed veggies, were topped with butter leaf lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Busy Burger’s signature Busy Sauce.
The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame:
Rounding out the awards by being inducted into The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame is Matthew McConaughey and Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Loro, who created a burger for those who hate when their patty slides out the back (or “slidie-out-backie,” as deemed by Mr. McConaughey) when bitten. Dubbed the “And…” burger, it is made with a brisket and chuck patty and brioche buns, then stacked with double-cut smoked bacon, American cheese, pickled jalapeños, butter leaf lettuce, thin-sliced tomato, mustard, and a jalapeño aioli.
The Burger Showdown was truly something to behold this year. Make sure to peep the builds of all the burgers mentioned, and more here.
Keep an eye on @offthemenu and @ubereats to see what they’re cooking up for their next tasty event, The Wing Showdown.