It’s post-IFA Convention and everyone has had to leave the splendor of the San Antonio Riverwalk behind and return to work. The food franchise industry has wasted no time in getting back to business. This week’s Friday Franchising News brings you everything you may have missed in food franchising news, from fighting hunger to #WienerWars.
Hwy 55 Fans Can “Own” the Menu
Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries diners are getting a chance to decide what’s on the menu, and one lucky guest will get the chance to drive off in a brand new car! In Hwy 55’s “Own It” campaign, diners can submit sandwich ideas online for monthly specials in more than 120 locations. Anyone who submits a creation or visits a Hwy 55 Burgers can leave their email address to be entered to win a new Ford Mustang convertible. Fans can enter once a month. The burger chain will pick 25 finalists each month and announce the winner of the convertible in December. Hwy 55 is giving its customer’s the chance to take the wheel and tell the franchise exactly what they would like to eat.
Smiling Moose Gets a Brand Overhaul
In order to reach its goal of 100 units by 2020, Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli is rolling out a completely new look. Starting with two Colorado locations, Smiling Moose units will be remodeled to have a modern, clean design that makes use of natural materials such as wood and steel accents. The redesign will also feature a more open kitchen and imagery and accents that evoke a Rocky Mountain adventure with a pop of color. The deli is also looking for new franchisees who already have restaurant experience and are eager to open multiple units. These new experienced franchisees will be giving Smiling Moose fans a whole new menu with 20 new and reimagined items with bold flavors and fresh ingredients. Smiling Moose’s re-imagined Create-Your-Adventure Menu will allow guests to completely customize breakfast skillets, sandwiches, and salads to accommodate personal diets, and that’s something to smile about!
Toppers Pizza Fights Hunger
In 2011, Toppers Pizza partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, and is now taking a step further in fighting hunger. As a part of the system-wide, one-day Hunger-Relief Event on February 29, all Toppers locations will sell large, one-topping pizzas for carry-out for $4.99 and will donate $2 to Feeding America for each of those pizzas sold. With the franchises 70+ locations across 12 states, Toppers Pizza has the potential to feed hundreds of families with these efforts. Toppers Pizza has raised a total of $250,000 for Feeding America since beginning their partnership and will be able to help an even greater number of families as the franchise and their partnership continues to expand.
Papa John’s Promotes Muldoon to Chief Ingredient Officer
Papa John’s has promoted Sean A. Muldoon to chief Ingredient Officer. Muldoon’s leadership has developed the Gold Standard for Papa John’s ingredients as having the cleanest sourced ingredients among pizza chains. He developed and implemented the Better Ingredients. Better Pizza Clean Label initiative by providing transparency about what goes into the franchise’s pizza; he introduced Papa’s Lighter choices menu; and he lead efforts to reduce unwanted ingredients, including artificial flavors, synthetic colors, MSF, BHT, and partially hydrogenated oils. As Chief Ingredient Officer, Muldoon will continue to lead R&D, Quality Assurance, and Supply Chain globally and expand the Gold Standard.
Kono USA Introduces “Kono To-Go”
Kono USA, the franchisor popular for the pizza-in-a-cone concept at “The Original” Kono Pizza, has expanded its brand to include “Kono To-Go” – Fresh Eats, Treats & Sweets. This expansion follows the franchise’s growth in 2015 of more than 40 Kono Pizza franchise agreements for mobile carts, kiosks and in-line units at malls and Walmarts. Kono To-Go offers the same variety of products as Kono Pizza, from breakfast to dessert items, all served in dough cones. The new brand is designed to thrive as a snack destination. With the introduction of Kono To-Go, Kono franchisees will be able to open with either name and can choose between traditional stores, kiosks, mobile carts, in-line stores, or a combination of the models. The franchise’s “chameleon” approach gives franchisees the flexibility to attract more customers and increase profits.
McDonald’s New McPick 2
When the McPick 2 promotion began in January, it was a 2-for-$2 deal with a choice of a double cheeseburger, a small fry, a McChicken, or mozzarella sticks. Now the burger franchise is expanding the menu to include more expensive items and offer two choices for $5. This new value menu will include the Big Mac, 10 piece Chicken McNuggets, Filet-O-Fish, and Quarter Pounder with Cheese. The new deal is creating some backlash on Twitter where some are complaining about the higher price. The new McPick 2 will be available for a limited time starting Monday, though the chain didn’t say how long the promotion would last.
#WienerSmackDown Initiated by Checkers & Rally’s
Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants has challenged Burger King’s Hot Dog launch by taking the first shots via a full page ad in USA Today. Checkers & Rally’s reminded readers that it launched hot dogs 30 years ago and is offering its grilled hot dogs for $0.79, half the price of Burger King’s. The 800+ unit-strong Checkers & Rally’s has declared itself the frontrunner in the ignited Wiener War, offering “wiener[s] that will treat you like a king.” What will Burger King’s next move be? You’ll have to wait for next week’s Friday Franchising to find out!