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Arby's is celebrating hunting season with venison sandwiches

Hunting season has begun, and Arby's is offering venison sandwiches to celebrate.

The Atlanta-based fast-food chain announced in a Wednesday news release that restaurants at select locations across six states will have thick-cut venison sandwiches on the menu.

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Restaurants in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia -- states Arby's said have "heavy deer hunting areas" -- are offering the item starting Oct 31.

The sandwiches have thick-cut venison steak marinated in garlic and cooked for three hours. They're topped with onions and berry sauce in between a toasted roll.

Arby’s Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer Rob Lynch told USA Today that the "100 percent deer meat" comes from the hind quarters of free-range, grass-fed deer.

"Bringing venison to our menu also allows us to continue to set ourselves apart from the competition when it comes to proteins," Lynch said. "You simply can’t find this at other restaurant chains."

Arby's said the following restaurants will have venison sandwiches for a limited time that varies by location:

Available Oct. 31-Nov. 3

2044 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee 37228

Available Nov. 4-6

3821 Tower Ave., Superior, Wisconsin 54880

1690 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55416

704 Highway 33 South, Cloquet, Minnesota 55720

348 Lincoln Ave. SE, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301

3275 First St. S, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301

4415 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30342

Available Nov. 12-15

4229 W Vienna Rd., Clio, Michigan 48420

4040 17 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

1215 M 89, Plainwell, Michigan 49080

8685 Birch Run Rd., Birch Run, Michigan 48415

Available Nov. 25-28

5205 Library Road, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania 15102

4260 Ohio River Blvd., Bellevue, Pennsylvania  15202

16 Towne Center Drive, Leechburg, Pennsylvania  15656

2539 W State St., New Castle, Pennsylvania  16101

2648 Ellwood Rd., New Castle, Pennsylvania  16101

3224 Wilmington Rd., New Castle, Pennsylvania 16105

Shaquille O'Neal buys Krispy Kreme store

WSB-TV contributed to this report.

Shaquille O'Neal just took ownership of an Atlanta-area Krispy Kreme store.

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The basketball Hall-of-Famer and sports and entertainment superstar announced Monday that he has become the owner of the Ponce de Leon location, which has been there for more than 60 years.

O'Neal, who has previously admitted to loving Krispy Kreme doughnuts, has compared his visits to the restaurants to a kid's experience in a candy store.

"In addition to Shaquille's status as a sports and entertainment icon and businessman, he is known for spreading joy, which aligns with our positioning and mission," said Tony Thompson, president and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. "We are confident this partnership will have a big impact for us in Atlanta and around the world."

O'Neal will also assume the role of a global spokesman for the doughnut company.

"Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that's a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of," O'Neal said. "Our goal is to help people find their happy place, and what better way than with a box of delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

For a limited time, Krispy Kreme is offering the "Shaq-or-Treat" promotion in which anyone who tags a social media post with #ShaqOrTreat will be eligible to win Krispy Kreme prizes or paraphernalia autographed by O'Neal. The promotion takes place Oct. 28-31.

Here's how to get free Chipotle today

Play a game and win free food. 

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 Chipotle lovers can score a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or order of tacos by visiting the website for "Chipotle: A Love Story" and clicking "play now."

Users will be faced with a grid of 16 cards and a minute on the clock to match ingredients in a memory game. Click on the cards to flip them over and match garlic-to-garlic, cilantro-to-cilantro and so on. When users click the cards with additives, the time is reduced by five seconds every time they're clicked.

Even players who don't win the game have an opportunity to win the buy-one-get-one-free coupon. The coupon is valid until Nov. 30.

The game is based on the company's animated short film "A Love Story," which aims to show how, over time, competition between restaurants has caused food to become increasingly processed and filled with additives -- thus the reason the additives dock you valuable time in the game.


Chick-fil-A bringing back its original barbecue sauce

When the popular Atlanta-based chain replaced its classic barbecue sauce with the smokehouse barbecue sauce, some Chick-fil-A fans were not pleased.

But on Tuesday, the restaurant announced the return of the original sauce.

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"You asked for it, and we listened. The original Barbeque Sauce is coming back," the franchise posted on its website.


After fans' responses on social media, a few petitions against the smokehouse sauce and an all-out grassroots campaign to #BringBacktheBBQ, Chick-fil-A decided the good stuff is finally back.

The original sauce will replace the smokehouse flavor nationwide, Chick-fil-A announced in its Tuesday press release.

"We thought we were introducing a bold, new flavor you would love," the company told consumers. "We heard (your feedback), so we're bringing back the original Barbeque Sauce in November."

Read more at Chick-fil-A.

Chipotle adds chorizo option to menu

Chipotle is now offering chorizo at locations across the country after finding success testing the product at select markets earlier this year.

The offering became widespread in the U.S. starting Oct. 4, National Taco Day.

"The reaction to chorizo in the cities that have had it has been overwhelmingly positive, so we're making it available in all of our restaurants across the country," said Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells.

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The fast food chain first tested the meat at Chipotle locations in Kansas City, Missouri; Ohio, New York City, California, Colorado and Washington, D.C.

According to the company, Chipotle's chorizo is made with a blend of pork and white-meat chicken and is seasoned with paprika, toasted cumin and chipotle peppers.

In June 2015, Chipotle's Corporate Chef Nate Appleman told The Kansas City Star that he had been been "beating the drum" for the company to offer chorizo for years.

"It was one of the first things I worked on,"he said. 

Customers can request chorizo in any of the company's burrito, taco, burrito bowl and salad offerings.

"Since we opened the first Chipotle 23 years ago, our menu has changed very little, and our focus has been on constantly improving the quality and taste of the food we serve," Ells said earlier this year. "While we have never been opposed to changing our menu, we only do so when we think there's an opportunity to add something that is really unique but that fits within our overall menu, and where we can find ingredients that meet our high standards."

Chipotle's chorizo has received mixed reviews.

Many customers haven't given rave reviews of the new addition.

One Facebook user called Chipotle's chorizo "disappointing," Business Insider employees called it "chewy" and "mediocre," yet "passable," and Insider described it as "dense and dry."

Other customers were fans of the new addition, calling it "amazing" and "darn good."

Some have described Chipotle's chorizo as "spicy."

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.

5 ways to celebrate National Taco Day

Taco lovers, rejoice: It's National Taco Day, and restaurants across the country are celebrating with freebies, deals and other fun offers.

>> Click here or scroll down to learn more

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<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "5 ways to celebrate National Taco Day " on Storify]

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. 

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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.

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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.

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