Burger King’s latest campaign with David Madrid is confusing meat lovers as it continues to reinforce its commitment to offering plant-based alternatives.
‘Meat?’ plays on the visual similarities between animal-based products and meat-free options with a striking, very close up series of print and out-of-home (OOH) ads with the tagline: “Sorry for the confusion, meat lovers”
On closer inspection of the ad imagery, meat lovers may be surprised to realize they are actually looking at red pepper, beetroot and radicchio.
“Many times, guests can’t tell the difference between the traditional Whopper and the plant-based Whopper,” said André Toledo, executive creative director at David Madrid.
“So we challenged a food photographer and a food stylist to shoot some vegetables in a way that would make them look like meat. The idea was to create ads that would make people ask themselves ‘Wait, is this meat or is this a plant?’”
“At Burger King, our plant-based products often feel, taste and look like real meat; yet many guests are skeptical,” added Iwo Zakowski, head of global brand marketing at Burger King.
“We wanted to bring a visually powerful message that makes you reconsider that not everything in life is what it seems to be. At Burger King, there is always something on the menu for everyone.”
Fast-food rivalries have been longstanding, and perhaps no rivalry has been more fun to watch over social media than that between Wendy’s and McDonald’s.
From Wendy’s savagely slamming the Golden Arches on Twitter over the seemingly forever broken ice cream machines to the former calling its new hot honey chicken sandwich “anything but McBland,” it’s safe to say that the two know how to riff each other when it comes to who reigns supreme.
Wendy’s latest not-so-subtle campaign is taking it one step further, and it looks like social media has caught on rather quickly.
Over the past few months, Wendy’s has put billboards up around Chicago advertising its famous French fries after the recipe was reformulated in August 2021 to maintain a fresher and crispier consistency upon delivery.
“What we’ve done is balance the cut of the fry and kept a little bit of the skin of the potato on the fry to be able to drive flavor,” Wendy’s President Kurt Kane said at the time. “We used a batter system that allows us to be able to maintain crispiness, both when they’re fresh and hot out of the fryer as well as several minutes later.”
The billboards read “hot and crispy fries don’t arch, just sayin’” alongside a photo of a folded fry that has an uncanny resemblance to half of the “M” in the famous McDonald’s Golden Arches symbol.
Naturally, Twitter took note and had a field day with it.
“I have tears in my eyes from laughing so much,” one user commented below one of the billboard photos. “I love how savage @Wendys is.”
“Twitter’s not enough..so we’re taking it to the streets now, huh, Wendy’s,” another joked alongside a crying laughing emoji.
Wendy’s even tweeted back a sly face emoji at one of the original posters, playing along with the social media fodder.
The fast-food chain still maintains that their fries are preferred 2:1 to McDonald’s.
Your move, Mickey D’s.
Wendy’s was up 12.59% year over year as of Friday afternoon.
The 49-year-old actor made what he calls his “historic rap debut” with a feature in Tech N9ne’s song “Face Off,” released Friday. The song, which also features rappers Joey Cool and King Iso, is part of the Kansas City rapper’s newest album “Asin9ne.”
“Made my historic rap debut (thankfully I didn’t suck) Huge shout to all the hip hop & music fans for your HYPE reactions,” Johnson tweeted Friday.
Johnson lays down the last verse of “Face Off” rapping about “drive” and “power.”
“We stay hungry, we devour / Put in the work, put in the hours and take what’s ours /
Black and Samoan in my veins, my culture bangin’ with Strange,” he raps referring to Tech N9ne’s record label Strange Music Inc.
“I would love to do a repeat with Tech N9ne and Strange Music. If I had the opportunity to collaborate with another artist out there — hip hop artists, blues artists, outlaw country artists — then let’s talk and let’s figure it out,” Johnson said. “If I could rap about the right words that feel real and authentic to me, then I’ll be happy to break out that Teremana, take a few big swigs and jump back into the studio.”
“THANK YOU to my brother, the GOAT @therealtechn9ne for coming up with this big crazy idea of wanting me to drop some Rock gasoline bars on the fire,” Johnson wrote on an Instagram video with a clip of his verse.
After being spotlighted at the middle of a legal battle between manufacturer and external company, McDonald’s infamous McFlurry machines are once again caught up in a flurry of investigations.
Over this summer, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly sent letters to various McDonald’s franchisees questioning them about the ice cream machines, which appear to be always somehow broken. It’s such a prevalent occurrence that it’s even become a meme.
But jokes aside, it has been reported by the Wall Street Journal that after franchise owners have expressed difficulties in repairing the machines in their stores, the FTC took the matter into its own hands.
According to the report, it wants to know more about the review process for the fast-food giant’s suppliers and equipment. There’s also the matter of whether restaurant owners are allowed to even work on the machines in their individual stores in the first place.
It was highlighted in a previous report that the manufacturer of these frosty machines, Taylor, wanted the restaurants to rely solely on Taylor technicians to fix the machines when they went down.
This comes after more legislation regarding Right to Repair—for electronics and heavy equipment in particular—was introduced earlier this year in July, seeing the law crack down on manufacturers who may otherwise take advantage of consumers.
Maybe McFlurries won’t be such an elusive treat in time to come, thanks to the FTC.
A former employee of a Panda Express in Santa Clarita alleges she was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion.
The 23-year-old woman is suing Panda Restaurant Group, headquartered in Rosemead, and Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy in Pico Rivera for sexual battery, a hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Although the woman is named in court documents, the Southern California News Group does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault.
‘Horrific psychological abuse’
“We are looking forward to presenting this case to a jury so that a clear message can be sent to Panda Express — which owns and operates over 2,000 restaurants — that it must put to an end to its practice of requiring its employees to undergo horrific psychological abuse and harassment to be promoted,” Oscar Ramirez, the woman’s attorney, said in an email Monday.
Officials with Panda Restaurant Group said the company takes the woman’s allegations seriously and has conducted an investigation.
“Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy is a third-party organization in which Panda has no ownership interest and over which it exercises no control,” says a statement from the company. “While we always encourage personal growth and development, Panda Restaurant Group has not and does not mandate that any associate participate in Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy nor is it a requirement to earn promotions.
“We are committed to providing a safe environment for all associates and stand behind our core values to treat each person with respect,” the company said. “We do not condone the kind of behavior (the plaintiff) has alleged took place at Alive Seminars and Coaching Academy, and we would not intentionally allow it to occur within or on behalf of our organization.”
In an emailed statement, Alive Seminars said its training sessions are presented with respect and dignity.
The victim says she began working for Panda Express in 2016 and was told in July 2019 by then store manager Matthiu Simuda she needed to complete a self-improvement seminar conducted by Alive Seminars.
“Eager to improve her skills and advance within the company, plaintiff signed up and paid out of pocket to attend a four-day program,” the lawsuit says. “Panda Express pushed its employees in the Los Angeles region to complete Alive Seminars training. In many cases, it was a prerequisite to promotion.”
The seminar was held in a warehouse in East Los Angeles and attended by 20 to 50 Panda Express employees from throughout Southern California, Ramirez said. Those who attended the seminar were required to provide their employee identification numbers and received intake materials with the Panda logo.
“Alive Seminars served — in essence — as an extension of Panda Express’ own Human Resources department,” says the lawsuit.
Participants isolated, treated as ‘terrorists’
The complaint alleges the seminar was bizarre and quickly devolved into psychological abuse.
At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing, when that is exactly what they had been instructed to do, says the complaint.
The man, an Alive Seminars employee, loudly proclaimed that the attendees were “nothing” and “don’t matter,” and berated them individually, the suit says. “The overall effect was that of a particularly nasty drill sergeant.”
Seminar participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth.
“The atmosphere resembled less a self-improvement seminar than a site for off the-books interrogation of terrorist suspects,” the complaint alleges. “The sensory isolation and intimidation was reinforced by constant yelling and verbal abuse by seminar staff, creating an atmosphere of fear in the room. Nevertheless, most attendees, including plaintiff, felt that they had no choice but to remain because they were sent to the seminar by Panda Express and told that their opportunity for promotion would depend on completion of the seminar.”
Participants required to strip
When the seminar continued on July 13, 2019, the woman allegedly was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building.
“Plaintiff — stripped almost naked in front of strangers and co-workers — was extremely uncomfortable but pressed on because she knew it was her only chance at a promotion,” says the lawsuit. “Meanwhile, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress, smiling, and laughing.”
The exercise culminated when the victims and other participants had to stand up to yell about their inner struggles until everyone else in the group believed them.
“The last male participant had some difficulty ‘convincing’ the others and, as a result, broke down in tears,” the suit says. “Plaintiff was told to stand up and go to the middle of the room with the male participant, where they were forced to ‘hug it out,’ wearing nothing but their underwear. Plaintiff was humiliated but did as she was told.”
Seminar resembled cult ritual
As time went on, the seminar more and more resembled a cult ritual, the complaint alleges.
“Alive Seminars staff proceeded to dim the lights,” says the suit. “Plaintiff and the other attendees were instructed to stand up and close their eyes, pretending that a light from above would come down and take all the ‘negative energy’ out of them, then pretend that a hole opened up in the ground and swallowed the ‘negative energy.’ While this was happening, one of the Alive Seminars staff had a cell phone with the light on, recording plaintiff in her state of undress.”
Attendees, the lawsuit alleges, were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
“If plaintiff wanted to use the restroom, someone from the Alive Seminars staff would stand outside the restroom door,” says the suit. “When another participant ran into the restroom to throw up, Alive Seminars staff ran after her. Another male participant was only given a small trash can to throw up in and was forced to do it in front of all the other attendees.”
During the July 13 session, the victim made an excuse of a family emergency and left the seminar.
The victim went to the seminar hopeful and optimistic about her future with Panda Express but left three days later “scarred and downtrodden.” Soon after, she quit her job because of emotional distress.
The suit alleges Panda Express “did not care about plaintiff’s experience at Alive Seminars or that she had been humiliated in front of her co-workers. Her chances of promotion were destroyed. plaintiff’s working conditions had become intolerable and Panda Express had no interest in addressing the situation.”
Taco Bell leapt right into the grease-fueled flames of the fast food chicken wars on Monday, with the unveiling of its much-anticipated new fried chicken menu item, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco. While it remains to be seen if this sandwich-taco hybrid will convert Popeyes Chicken Sandwich fans to the taco side, so to speak (probably not), the Louisiana-style chicken chain is already trolling it on Tuesday with a new menu hack created specifically for taco lovers.
Popeyes posted a step-by-step “TikTurial” of the menu hack on TikTok, complete with the amusingly inaccurate text-to-speech effect. The company created the hack to ensure customers can enjoy fried chicken tacos and “maintain the high quality that they have grown to know and love from Popeyes,” according to a spokesperson. Translation: Forget about Taco Bell’s new take on a chicken sandwich and turn our actual chicken sandwich into tacos, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Notably, the menu hack leaves you with two of the so-called tacos. Here are the steps outlined in the TikTok post:
1. Order the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. 2. Remove chicken fillet from the bun. 3. Rub the top and bottom bun pieces together to spread the sauce. 4. Tear or cut the chicken fillet in half. 5. Fold the top and bottom bun pieces like tacos, then place the chicken fillet halves in each and garnish with the pickles.
Or… you can just skip steps two through five and just eat your chicken sandwich like a sandwich—you know, without having to play with your food. Then again, we won’t judge if you want to try the hack just for fun. That’s presumably what Popeyes is going for here. That, and snark. The chain did start the chicken wars with that shade-filled Chick-fil-A tweet after all.
There’s a tired joke about McDonald’s chronically broken ice cream machines. You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, and 24-year-old software engineer Rashiq Zahid has heard it.
Fortunately, one of us—the engineer, of course—found a way to protect McDonald’s fans from the age-old disappointment of heading all the way to a store only to be told the ice cream machine isn’t working. Zahid calls his new masterpiece mcbroken, and it actually appears to work.
In simple terms, because, let’s be real, most of us don’t know what the hell reverse engineering an internal API means, mcbroken acts as a bot that tests the availability of ice cream sundaes at every US location every 30 minutes. It does so by trying to add a sundae to the cart on McDonald’s mobile app.
If the app fails to add a sundae to the cart because ice cream is unavailable at that location, that spot is marked with a red dot on the map. If the app succeeds at adding a sundae to the cart, it means ice cream is available at that location, earning the spot a green dot on the map.
Peacock is a new streaming service that makes hundreds of NBC TV shows and Universal films available for free. Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, officially launched free and premium versions of Peacock on July 15, though some Comcast internet and cable customers have had early access to the service since April.
Peacock was intended to launch alongside the 2020 Olympics to provide a live stream for the Summer Games in Tokyo, but the linchpin event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the major disruption, NBCUniversal managed to launch Peacock as scheduled.
Peacock has brokered deals for new original series produced by Tina Fey and Kevin Hart, as well as rights to stream classic series like “Law & Order” and “Will and Grace.” “The Office,” a perennial Netflix favorite and one of NBC’s most beloved series, will move to Peacock in January 2021. A new original series adapting the book “Brave New World” has already debuted on Peacock, along with original films, like “Psych 2,” and exclusive documentaries, like Dale Earnhard Jr’s “Lost Speedways.”
Peacock’s library is also full of classic Universal movies, and the streaming service has announced that all eight “Harry Potter” movies will be coming to the platform over the next six months. Other franchises, like “Jurassic Park” and “Fast & Furious,” will be available on a rotating basis as well.
Peacock will also feature live sporting events, like the Premier League and the 2021 Olympics. A number of popular sports radio shows, including “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Rich Eisen Show,” and “PFT Live with Mike Florio” will also stream exclusively on Peacock.
Starting September 8, McDonald’s is adding Scott’s favorite meal from the fast-food chain — a Quarter Pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce, medium fries with BBQ Sauce, and a Sprite — to the menu for $6. It will be available through October 4.
“His ability to kind of see where culture is going and have a hand in where culture is going is really unique,” Flatley said in an interview on Friday. “Then you couple that with his huge followership and his fans, social-media footprint, and … 3 billion streams. He just has an incredible audience.”
The partnership has caused some controversy within McDonald’s, with some franchisees pushing back against a deal with the rapper. These franchisees felt that a deal with a rapper known partly for explicit lyrics was a departure from the chain’s more family-friendly voice.
Flatley told Business Insider many other franchisees and employees were excited about the deal and that at a chain as big as McDonald’s, differing opinions are the norm. The Scott partnership is key to remaining relevant and winning over younger customers, she said.
According to Flatley, people under the age of 34 are “becoming more and more challenging for brands to reach.”