Cities vs. States vs. You

Earlier this year, the city of Cleveland banned added trans fats at restaurants citywide. But the ban didn’t stand; the state of Ohio banned the ban in its proposed state budget, adding an amendment that would prevent municipalities from regulating ingredients quick serves could use.

The battle in Ohio marks a new twist in the debate over who has the right to legislate food in lieu of a federal regulation: cities, states, or nobody at all.

McDonald’s Turns the TV On

Company’s new in-store channel test could reshape the way the industry views the dining room.

After two years of testing in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas, McDonald’s will launch its own in-store television network in 645 California stores later this year.

The McDonald’s Channel is expected to reach nearly 20 million people each month and integrate online and social-networking platforms. It will feature local content such as news, weather, and sports, as well as original features about local residents.

It’s Back: McRib Hits McDonald’s Menus Nationwide

Boneless pork and barbecue-sauce-loving fans have reason to rejoice today. For the second time in as many years, the McRib sandwich has returned nationwide to participating McDonald's restaurants through November 14.

The McRib—a boneless pork patty made from USDA-inspected quality boneless pork, topped with slivered onions, sliced dill pickles, a signature barbecue sauce on a toasted home-style bun—is renowned for its elusive quality, inspiring a McRib Locator, several online petitions for its return, and countless pop-culture references.

McDonald's Honored for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

McDonald’s Corporation and vice chairman and CEO Jim Skinner were selected as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 12th Annual A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Honorees for exemplary corporate leadership in advancing equal opportunity and diversity. The gala black-tie dinner, themed “We Believe in All of Us,” will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis on October 24 with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi will serve as emcee.

Technomic Aims to Help Operators Get Into BRIC

In an industry where domestic growth has been elusive, U.S.-based restaurant chains are attempting to evolve into truly global brands, reaching emerging markets where less industry saturation and competition exists. As chains seek to establish footholds in these untapped markets, they are challenged to strike a balance between maintaining their brand identities while tailoring menu items and service formats to local preferences.

McDonald's VP Added to NRA Board of Directors

The National Restaurant Association added Steven Hilton, vice president of government relations for McDonald’s Corporation, to its Board of Directors. Hilton was inducted at the Association’s fall 2011 board meeting in Washington, D.C., last month and will serve through December 31, 2013, when he is eligible to renew his commitment.

QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study

How does your brand stack up to the seven best drive-thru chains in the nation?

It’s true that different brands excel at different things, be it in the area of nutritional offerings, customer service, or speed.

It’s true, too, with drive-thru service; some brands perform better than the rest. And this year the QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study focuses on seven brands as a benchmark group that have consistently, year after year, risen to the top of the heap in drive-thru performance.

Drive-thru performance was first studied in 1998 to gauge the speed and accuracy of fast feeders and encourage the industry to improve its service. And improve it did:

It's Back: McDonald's Launches 19th Season of Monopoly

The Monopoly Game at McDonald's is back in nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants starting tomorrow, bringing with it one in four odds of winning, multiple ways to play, and millions of prizes everyday. This year, customers can find Monopoly Game Pieces on new and old menu favorites including the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, 10- and 20-piece Chicken McNuggets, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, medium and large McCafe Cold Beverages (excluding McCafe Shakes and Large Iced Coffee), Hash Browns, Egg McMuffin, Sausage McMuffin with Egg, large fries, and medium fountain drinks.

Fruit Blooms on Menus

As consumers increasingly seek healthy, great-tasting food, it seems that more chefs and restaurant operators are looking to fruit as a perfect ingredient for menu items.

The health benefits are obvious. Most fruit is low in fat, sodium, and calories; full of vitamins and minerals; and has no cholesterol. It also provides natural sweetness.

Fruit has been part of limited-service restaurants’ menus for decades, mostly in desserts or in beverages like orange juice or strawberry milkshakes. Now it’s expanding.