Fast Food

Del Taco Rides A New Wave Of Success With New Beyond Meat Burritos And 2 Million Beyond Tacos Sold

Photo Courtesy of Del Taco

Last April, Del Taco shook up their brand by announcing the addition of Beyond Meat as their menu’s newest protein option. This new Beyond Menu included popular items from the existing lineup, swapping out the meat for the plant-based alternative.

Building off that momentum, Del Taco also announced the addition of two new burritos that set to debut this Thursday, packed with chunks of Beyond Meat. These are called the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito, reports NRN. According to a spokesperson for Del Taco to NRN, the new burritos are the brand’s way of letting fans know that their Beyond campaign isn’t a one-off, but rather a way to build off the Beyond brand for the future.

A little less than two months after Beyond Meat’s Del Taco debut, the company has announced that they’ve sold more than 2 million Beyond Meat tacos, reports NRN. The new tacos have become one of Del Taco’s best-selling products over such a small period of time thanks to a gangbuster collaborative campaign. Take note, Taco Bell, plant-based proteins are the next big move for the fast food industry.

As a lifelong fan of Del Taco, this new direction has me stoked. No longer will I have to avoid the drive-thru when I’m giving up meat for Lent. I now live in a time where I can enjoy a Beyond taco packed with cheese, shredded lettuce, secret sauce and all the other accoutrements of the brand… just without meat. What a time to be alive.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Cravings Deals News Restaurants

This Year, Olive Garden Is Selling 10x More Unlimited Pasta Passes


Every time Olive Garden drops their all-you-can-eat pasta card, they sell out almost immediately. For noodle lovers and pasta aficionados, the fall season’s pretty much Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, all tossed in a zesty marinara sauce. This year, the Italian-American restaurant chain decided to help customers out by adding more passes to entice customers with.

Originally, sales ended with about 1,000 to 2,000 passes. Those unfortunate enough to miss out on them had to go through back channels to get their hands on one.

Now, according to Bloomberg, Olive Garden has dramatically raised availability to about 21,000 passes. The restaurant chain must be real confident in their pasta to make such a massive increase in promotion.

The $100 card guarantees an endless supply of select pasta dishes from any participating Olive Garden location. Pasta season starts October 3rd and continues through November 20th. Pass sales begin on Thursday September 15th.

Photo: Olive Garden

Celebrity Grub

Here’s How Much Chris Rock REALLY Made Selling Cookies At The Oscars [UPDATE]


Last Sunday, Chris Rock brought his daughters’ Girl Scout troop to the Oscars hoping generous celebrities would buy some cookies to support the girls. As many eagerly paid cash for their Thin Mints and Samoas, Rock claimed the total came out to $65,243.

Turns out they didn’t exactly raise that much.

According TMZ, the more than $65,000 sale was just a joke made for the performance.

About 500 boxes were sold that night at $5 each, a Girl Scouts rep told TMZ. The actual total was around $2,500. This doesn’t include, however, any off-camera orders that celebrities might have made at a later time.

Still, $65,000 or $2,500, the Girl Scouts did get some great coverage this weekend.

Cover Photo: Chris Rock + Girl Scout Cookies Facebook

Packaged Food

Oreo Sales CRUMBLE In Venezuela And Here’s What They’re Doing About It



The average person is probably unaware that Oreos are actually manufactured in Venezuela, but the beloved snack’s South American legacy could be in jeopardy after Oreo’s parent company announced it will no longer track sales in Venezuela.

Oreo producer, Mondelez International, recently reported losses of more than $700 million, due heavily to the poor state of Venezuela’s economy, specifically citing exponentially increasing inflation rates.

The Venezuelan economy’s inflation rates have steadily increased over the past decade and there is no sign of help within reach. Food prices rose more than 20 percent in August 2015, according to CNBC.

A statement from Mondelez International seemed to hint that a reevaluation of the company’s business model in Venezuela may be in the near future.

“Given the current and ongoing difficult economic, regulatory and business environment…there continues to be significant uncertainty related to the company’s operations in Venezuela.”

Oreo has been touted as, “The World’s Best Selling Cookie,” with global sales reaching more than $3 billion in 2014, but that number might change dramatically as a chunk of the number will no longer be tracked.

News Opinion

Rise In Marijuana Sales Is Starting To Worry Beer Companies, Here’s Why

Well folks, it might be time to replace those koozies and beer mugs with OG Kush and Clear Eyes.

According to business news outlet Quartz, marijuana could be making a push to topple beer as America’s favorite vice of choice…eventually.

When considering how many people have died from alcohol-related causes, it makes sense that a nation with a steadily growing concern for health and safety would begin gravitating more towards marijuana, a substance that has been directly related to very few deaths, if at all.

Ever since the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the industry has been growing rapidly. The ArcView Group, an investment firm based in San Francisco that specializes in providing financing to marijuana-based ventures, recently released a study showing the massive increase in sales of both medical and recreational marijuana over the past year.

Below is a chart from the ArcView study that shows marijuana sales from 2011-2015, plus the projected sales for 2016. It’s clear to see that ever since states began legalizing marijuana for recreational use in 2013, the industry has boomed, attracting both longtime users and curious newcomers. There was a whopping 74 percent increase in national revenue, jumping from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014.

Beer’s only real competitor for the last few decades has been hard alcohol and liquor, and bringing in $2.7 billion, while impressive, still doesn’t even come close to beer sales (which are over $100 billion annually). So why are beer capitalists showing concern? Simply put: marijuana’s potential for growth.

While the gap between the two industries is about as wide as the Rio Grande, the fact that only a handful of states have legalized marijuana needs to be taken into account. It’s safe to say that had they been compared on an even playing field, with weed being legalized everywhere, the difference between the two would be a lot closer.

Furthermore, in the past two years, the alcohol sales tax has gone up drastically in Colorado. Many believe that this was done to keep up with marijuana sales, however the majority of beer companies insist that this rise in rates is simply natural market inflation.

So what do you think? Will the marijuana industry eventually take over or will beer still come out on top in the end?

You decide. Literally.

Photo Credit: Quartz, Dutch Passion, Leaf Science, The Oaks Treatment

Fast Food

Chipotle Is Facing A Criminal Investigation Over Norovirus Outbreak


To say it’s been a rough year for Chipotle has been an understatement. Between the massive norovirus outbreaks and the E. coli incidents, the fast casual chain has seen better days. Now, it looks like the company will be facing a criminal investigation thanks to the norovirus outbreak at a Chipotle restaurant Simi Valley.

The Associate Press reports that a federal investigation is underway after 100 customers and 17 employees got sick last summer. According to Chipotle’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it seems the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California will be working with the Food and Drug Administraiton’s Office of Criminal Investigations.

While this kind of investigation to an outbreak is very uncommon, a lawyer who represents the customers affected speculates that it could have something to do with employment violations.

In the month of December, when the majority of the shit hit the fan, the company reported a 30 percent plunge in sales at “established locations.”

Wonder if Chipotle will be able to turn things around this new year.


IHOP Just Reported Its BEST Sales In More Than A Decade


Earlier this week, Burger King reported the best sales in almost a decade. It looks like IHOP is having a great year as is also boasting the best sales in the last ten years.

In a recent update of its fiscal guidance for IHOP, DineEquity Inc. reported the strongest quarterly sales rise in more than a decade, NRN reports.

For the quarter, net income rose 40 percent to $26.5 million compared to $18.9 million the previous year. Revenue grew by 7 percent to $171.5 million, versus $160.5 million the previous year.

With the momentum of the brand’s success, IHOP plans to focus on improving the food and menu. Improving guest experience and marketing is also a top priority.

This will be IHOP’s ninth consecutive quarter of positive sales. Sure, everyone loves good service and all-day breakfast. Though I wonder how many customers they brought in with that creepy new logo?


Fast Food

Here’s Why Burger King Had The BEST 2nd Quarter Sales In Almost A Decade


Burger King has seen a great second quarter this year as same-store sales rose 6.7 percent. According to Restaurant Brands International, BK’s parent company, this was the fast food chain’s best quarterly performance in 9 years.

Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, attributed the success of sales to a four-pillar plan: improvements to the menu, marketing, operations and reimagining. The last nine quarters sales have been steadily increasing at the burger chain.

A large part to the brand’s success is thanks to the lack of operational complexity that comes with every new menu item, NRN reports. One of the newest menu items, the A1 Hearty Mozzarella Bacon Cheeseburger, only features one new menu item.

It seems that Burger King has been consistently working on improvements in products, ingredients and overall speed.

Schwartz also mentions that they’re working to garner similar success with the recently-aquired Tim Horton’s.