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Chick-fil-A 'statistically the most polite chain'

Betsi Flores contributed to this report.

Business Insider said Chick-fil-A is "statistically the most polite chain in the restaurant business," after a QSR Magazine report showed positive attributes of customer service at the chicken chain.

The annual drive-thru report, released Monday, showed employees made eye contact with customers 87.9 percent of the time, said "please" 61.8 percent of the time and had a pleasant demeanor 93.9 percent of the time. Employees also smiled 90.9 percent of the time and said "thank you" 95.2 percent of the time.

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The report included data from 15 fast food chains and data from 1,948 visits.

Among the other restaurants included were Arby's, Panera, McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King and Wendy's.

Employees at Chick-fil-A were the most likely of the 15 chains surveyed to say "please" and "thank you" and to smile at drive-thru customers.

The only chain that had workers more likely to have a pleasant demeanor than Chick-fil-A was PDQ, a Tampa-based company known for its chicken tenders. PDQ has locations in less than 10 states.

"It's all about speed and accuracy, but we know our customers appreciate that we can be nice while being fast and accurate," Mark Moraitakis, senior director of hospitality and service design, told QSR. "Eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience."

>> Chick-fil-A to test 5 new menu items, including quinoa bowls, healthy breakfast options

QSR said data was collected and tabulated by SeeLevel HX. 

For each visit to each restaurant, a trained data collection specialist surveyed the drive-thru lane and then entered the line the same as any other customer, QSR reported.

The company said a minor special request was also made with each order, such as requesting beverage with no ice.

Panera's pink-ribbon bagels to raise funds for breast cancer awareness

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Panera Bread Co. is teaming up with local organizations to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

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During the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the company will sell its signature Pink Ribbon Bagel, a twist on the Cherry Vanilla Bagel, a mix of cherry chips, dried cherries, honey, vanilla and brown sugar. A portion of the proceeds of the Pink Ribbon bagel will be donated to local nonprofits across the country. 

Erin Barnhart, community relations manager for a Panera Bread franchise based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said each participating market has its own breast cancer partners.

"The partner really does make a difference," she said. "We appreciate our local partners, as their support can make all the difference in achieving our goals of building awareness and raising funds for treatment and research."

Panera has more than 1,600 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia. 

Select markets offer a 100 percent donation day, during which the entirety of that day's sales of Pink Ribbon Bagels is donated to breast cancer focused organizations, according to Panera's website.

In Dayton, Ohio, proceeds will be donated to local nonprofit Pink Ribbon Girls and the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation.

"We make this campaign a priority every year for a reason," said Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises, the Ohio-based franchisee of Dayton-area Panera Bread restaurants. "The funds raised by the Pink Ribbon Bagel are helping to save the lives of local women with breast cancer. There's no better feeling than knowing you can help make difference."

Pink Ribbon Girls provide free direct services to patients and their families undergoing breast and other women's reproductive cancer treatment through their programs.

Mikki Clancy, chief operating officer of Miami Valley Hospital, survived breast cancer and said she benefited from the services of Pink Ribbon Girls and the hospital.

"Pink Ribbon Girls and Miami Valley Hospital were a godsend in my treatment and recovery," she said. "Supporting these community assets serves hundreds of local patients in their fight against cancer."

Twelve participating West Virginia area Panera locations will donate to Susan G. Komen West Virginia.

"We are so excited to partner with Panera Bread for the sixth year to raise funds and awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness month," said Donna DeHart, executive director West Virginia Susan G. Komen. "The Pink Ribbon Bagels are always a big hit with our survivors, volunteers, grantees and supporters. Money raised from the October campaign will be used to provide uninsured and under-insured West Virginians with life-saving screenings and awareness."

According to the Panera website, the franchise has raised tens of thousands of dollars for breast cancer partners through Pink Ribbon Bagel campaigns in the past 10 years.

"It's not a hard sell," Barnhart said. "People want to be involved in whatever way they can. That's what's so great about the Pink Ribbon Bagel. People might say, 'I can't write a check, but I can buy a bagel.'"

Read more at PaneraBread.com.

Here's why Chipotle doesn't sell queso

Moe's, Willy's, Barberito's, Chipotle and Qdoba all offer similar items -- menus laden with burrito products and other Tex-Mex options.

 

But one of those is not like the other. 

 

>> Read more trending stories  

 

Chipotle differs from the other restaurants in that it does not sell cheese dip. 

 

And many customers aren't happy about it.

 

 

 

 

So why not sell the liquid gold?

 

A video released by the fast food chain says that the company stands by producing "food with integrity" and that queso, which has to be made with "artificial stabilizers" to keep the cheese in liquid form, does not fall under the chain's quality standards.

 

"Ever head of all natural liquid goopey cheese?" a faux marketing representative asks in the video. "Do you think there's a cow that squirts queso out of its udders?"

 

 

link at the end of the video offers viewers to read more information about Chipotle's dairy standards.

 

Chemical stabilizers are needed to keep cheese at a semi-liquid state for queso and to prevent it from becoming too thin or too thick. Artificial colors are often added as well. 

 

"Queso is something that we do get requests for from time to time, but it's very difficult to do it in a way that is consistent with our food philosophy," Chris Arnold, Chipotle's communications director, told MUNCHIES in June. "To make queso in a way that is stable on the service line pretty much requires artificial ingredients (such as stabilizers to keep its consistency). That's just not what we do."

Chipotle offering freebies to win back customers

In an effort to regain customers after declining sales and a hard hit to the company's reputation, Chipotle is offering deals that appeal to students and families.

>> Read more trending stories  

The first deal appeals to parents, who can receive a free kids' meal with the purchase of an adult entree. The deal is only valid on Sundays in September.

A second promotion allows high school and college students to receive a free drink with the purchase of an entree if they show a valid school ID.

"It's back to school time and students -- particularly high school and college students -- have always been such loyal customers, so we thought a promotion directed specifically to them would be a great way to help them ring in a new school year," a Chipotle spokesman said.

The company's Chiptopia loyalty program promotion, which awards free food and merchandise when customers achieve a certain amount of points, lasts until Sept. 30.

Chick-fil-A to test 5 new menu items, including quinoa bowls, healthy breakfast options

Chicken chain Chick-fil-A will introduce new, healthy items to its menu, including quinoa grain bowls and a protein smoothie.

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Two new items will hit test markets across the country on Monday.

The first of many new options to hit select menus are the Harvest Kale and Grain Bowl and the Egg White Grill Grain Bowl.

The Harvest Kale & Grain Bowl features a hearty blend of red quinoa, white quinoa and farro, roasted butternut squash and diced apples on a bed of chopped kale, according to a Chick-fil-A press release. It is topped with a goat and feta cheese blend and tart dried cherries, served with a blend of roasted nuts and a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. 

The Egg White Grill Grain Bowl includes the same grain blend of red quinoa, white quinoa and farro, plus scrambled egg whites, grilled chicken and a Monterey jack and cheddar cheese blend.

"While we will always serve the classic menu items we're known for, we are also excited to try new ingredients that we hope will satisfy our customers' requests and allow us to stay on-top of new flavor trends," said David Farmer, vice president of menu strategy and development. "Our new Harvest Kale & Grain Bowl and Egg White Grill Grain Bowl are nutritious, hearty options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We hope customers in the test markets think they're delicious; we can't wait to find out what they think to help determine if these items should be added to menus nationwide."

The Egg White Grill Grain Bowl and the Harvest Kale & Grain Bowl will be offered at participating restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Tampa, Florida, and Huntsville, Alabama.

Three other breakfast items will be offered at Chick-fil-A locations in New York, New Jersey, San Diego, Columbia, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. later this year.

The Hash Brown Scramble, which can be served in either a bowl or as a burrito, the Egg White Grill Bowl and the Berry Protein Blend breakfast smoothie will be offered for a limited time during breakfast hours this fall. 

The Hash Brown Scramble includes Chick-fil-A Hash Browns, scrambled eggs, a Monterey Jack cheddar cheese blend and a choice of sliced Chick-fil-A Nuggets or sausage. It is served with jalapeño salsa. 

The Egg White Grill Bowl contains freshly scrambled egg whites, a Monterey Jack cheddar cheese blend and sliced grilled chicken. It is also served with jalapeño salsa. 

The Berry Protein Blend is a breakfast beverage made with chia seeds, ancient grains, mixed berries and yogurt. It is handspun with a small amount of Chick-fil-A's Icedream ice cream and topped with granola. 

"More people are eating breakfast away from home, and we want to meet the needs of our guests by providing breakfast options that span a variety of nutritional needs, tastes and ingredients," Matt Abercrombie, senior consultant of menu development, said in a press release. "In addition to our classic breakfast offerings our customers know and love, like our Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit or Chick-n-Minis, we're excited to offer three new breakfast items for our customers to try and help us determine whether or not we launch them nationwide."

In July, Chick-fil-A introduced the Egg White Grill, a lower-calorie a breakfast sandwich comprised of egg whites and cheese on an English muffin. It replaced the spicy chicken biscuit. Customers can also order the Chicken Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich on the newly added English muffin.

A breakfast packed with 25g of protein and only 300 calories. #NotThatCrazy A photo posted by Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@chickfila) on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:12am PDT

The company also altered its sauce flavors earlier this year.

Read more at Chick-fil-A.

Women find worms in food at 2 McDonald's restaurants

Two women recently took to social media to post photos of worms that they found in their food after eating sandwiches from McDonald's.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tuesday, Lacey Jo Lovett, of Kentucky, said she finished eating a McChicken from a McDonald's restaurant in Draffenville, Kentucky, when she picked up a piece of lettuce on the sandwich wrapper and found a worm. 

Just ate a McChicken from draffenville mcdonalds and picked up the last piece of lettuce on the wrapper and this was below it!!!! Are you serious!!!!Posted by Lacey Jo Lovett on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Just two days prior, Madison Stephens had experienced a similar situation at a McDonald's in Mayfield, Kentucky, 25 miles away.

Stephens said she took her 1-year-old son to the restaurant and ordered a fish sandwich and a cheeseburger. 

Stephens ate half her fish sandwich when she said a worm fell out of it and started crawling towards her son's food.

"If I hadn't seen that worm, my son would have eaten that because it was already on top of his sandwich," she told WPSD. "That's how close he came to eating it."

Stephens said that initially, restaurant employees said they couldn't do anything about the order since she couldn't find her receipt.

She said she later complained to McDonald's officials, who sent her a $10 gift card in the mail.

But for Stephens, the gesture seemed like "a slap in the face," WPSD reported. She said she doesn't want money, but rather an inspection from the health department.

"That scared me, and as a mom, I don't want another child to have to experience something like that," she said.

"Food quality and safety are a top priority for us. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to gather all facts and resolve the matter," a McDonald's spokesman said in a statement following the incident.

Saturday, Michael Love, the owner-operator of the two restaurants, said he's been unable to substantiate Lovett's and Stephens' claims. He said inspections of the restaurants by health officials did not uncover any of the problems raised by the customers, the Associated Press reported.

So, got a fish sandwich and a cheeseburger for Brody and I and look what falls out my sandwich. I am COMPLETELY disgusted and will not be eating Mayfield McDonald's anymore. I thank God my son didn't eat this!Posted by Madison Stephens on Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chipotle announces plans for burger restaurant

First Burger King started selling hot dogs. Now Chipotle has announced plans to stir things up by expanding its burrito and taco offerings to burgers with a new restaurant called Tasty Made.

The restaurant is set to open in Lancaster, Ohio, this fall.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tasty Made's menu will be mostly limited to burgers, fries and shakes, and the restaurant will aim to promote better, cleaner food and ingredients -- just like Chipotle. 

"Early fast food burger restaurants generally had focused menus," Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said in a release. "We think there's great strength in that original fast food model and wanted to create a restaurant built around that. Making only burgers, fries and shakes with really great ingredients, we think we can appeal to people's timeless love of burgers, but in a way that is consistent with our long-term vision.

"Tasty Made will use Responsibly Raised brand beef (from animals that are raised in more humane ways and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones), shakes made with real ingredients including milk, cream, sugar, eggs and other natural ingredients, and fresh-made buns that are free of preservatives, dough conditioners and other artificial ingredients."

Chipotle, which found success in positioning itself as an alternative to traditional fast-food chains, has been struggling to win back customers after a series of food scares in past years.

Chipotle has already ventured in the direction of different cuisines. In 2001, the company opened an Asian food restaurant called ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, which has 15 locations. The company also operates a pizza chain called Pizzeria Locale, which has five locations.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/twitter-reacts-to-chipotle-plans-to-open-burger-jo/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/twitter-reacts-to-chipotle-plans-to-open-burger-jo.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Twitter reacts to Chipotle plans to open burger joint" on Storify]Twitter reacts to Chipotle plans to open burger jointStorified by CMGNationalNews· Sun, Jul 31 2016 18:04:50Burger King hot dogs. Chipotle burgers. We're about five seconds away from getting Baskin-Robbins fried chicken. https://t.co/UrLdb0BIQ3Darryn Albert.@ChipotleTweets wants to make burgers...? I mean. Alright. https://t.co/l8qMES90AN https://t.co/TrxzIIDTmyRedEyeMcDonald's serving espresso, Starbucks serving salads, Chipotle making burgers - I'm not comfortable with this fast food fluidity.Charles Roth MPCChipotle is gonna start selling burgers? GrossNathan RyanIf chipotle just got queso their sales would be back to normal idk where they're trying to go with BURGERSallison fitzgeraldI love the idea that a restaurant that sells burgers and french fries is a “concept” https://t.co/VjcZ5SYDwpGabriel RothThe radio just told me chipotle is going to start selling burgers and idk if I should be excited or scared Shawn Africa Simpson

There's a Krispy Kreme doughnut-flavored soda

If Coca-Cola Freestyle machines don't give you enough drink options, there's a new soda on the market: Cheerwine Kreme.

>> Read more trending stories  

Consumers can expect a soft drink that combines Cheerwine's cherry flavor soda with the taste of a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut. 

"All that’s missing to crown it king junk food is a glob of Paula Deen’s butter floating on top," Grub Street wrote.

The beverage will only be available in Georgia and the Carolinas, but a 20-ounce bottle can be purchased for $7.50 here.

Deals and freebies for National Ice Cream Day

What better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than by indulging in some cool, delicious -- and most importantly discounted -- ice cream? 

>> Read more trending stories  

July is National Ice Cream Month, and the middle of the month marks National Ice Cream Day. 

This year, get a sundae on Sunday, July 17, when certain retailers will offer deals and freebies. Some won't even make you wait until Sunday -- Uber is offering a sweet deal on Friday.

Here's what to look out for: 

Baskin Robbins: Customers can receive a free upgrade to a waffle cone with any ice cream purchase during the month of July. The ice cream chain will donate a portion of all ice cream proceeds on Sunday to the United Service Organization.

Blue Bell: Try the newest flavor, Cookie Two Step, released Friday nationwide.

Carvel: Carvel will give customers a free cup or cone on Sunday with the purchase of one of equal or larger size.

Cold Stone Creamery: Members of the eClub can receive buy one, get one free coupons.

Friendly's: The restaurant's monthlong Sprinklefest offers discounts on frosted treats.

Marble Slab Cream Creamery: Marble Slab will offer a buy one, get one deal Sunday until 1 p.m.

Monkey Joe’s: Guests at select locations of the indoor kids play centers get free ice cream cups while supplies last on Sunday.

PetSmart: Participating PetSmart PetHotel locations will give out free ice cream samples to dogs on Sunday. 

Uber: On Friday, July 15, people in 400 cities around the world can have Magnum ice cream bars delivered to them by Uber, free of charge. Free deliveries are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

6 foods to try in Cleveland during the RNC and where to find them

The Republican National Convention will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland from July 18–21. 

But whether you're in the area before the convention, during it or afterwards, the city boasts many delicious foods for hungry visitors to fill up on. 

>> Read more trending stories 

The city’s food culture is heavily influenced by its Chinese, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Slovenian and German immigrants, as well as African-Americans and other ethnic groups.

Here are some of the best places to eat in Cleveland and what you should order, according to Dayton.com: 

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