Remember when the Atkins Diet was all the rage? The first time I heard about it was when a co-worker and I went out to lunch at a Burger King. He ordered 4 Whoppers without the buns. Even with my past experience working in the fast food industry, I had never heard of a customer ordering a burger without the bun before. It was then where he explained the “no carbs” concept to me. I suppose that fad is officially over because the year 2013 will be the year of the pretzel. Just how long has the pretzel lobby been waiting, since we have no less than THREE fast food chains that feature pretzel buns.
Since it’s been two years since I’ve done one of these things, I believe a refresher is in order. (1) I am only judging the marketing, and not the food. (2) I only list what I see and hear from my TV and radio. So I might miss some here and there. (3) Don’t fret too much about the middle of the list. Let’s have some fun, shall we?
- McDonald’s – Two words: Monopoly Month.
- Wendy’s – They have the best spokesperson on TV. Then again, I am a sucker for redheads.
- Burger King – I know, I didn’t think I would ever rank these guys so high either. But I must give credit where credit is due. Instead of talking about their mediocre, uninspired new menu items, they focused on their 2 for $5 deal.
- Little Caesar’s – The man in an arm cast is funny.
- Pizza Hut – Of all of the pizza chains, they have the best pizza menu.
- Denny’s – Build your own pancakes. Who doesn’t like pancakes?
- Nathan’s – They are now emphasizing their fries, which is not a bad idea. Nathan’s was #4 in my last french fires power rankings.
- Subway – Going from a $5 footlong to a $4 lunch combo (6″ sub) seems to be a step down.
- Dunkin’ Donuts – Another chain trending downward.
- White Castle – Stop trying to re-invent your sliders. If I wanted all these fancy toppings on my mini-burgers, I’d go to a real restaurant.
- Chick Fil-A – On my list because they are keeping a low profile. I’m sure once the political firestorm dies down, they would love to try once again to attempt to establish a foothold in the Northeast.
- Taco Bell – Happy Hour from 2pm – 5pm? Don’t they know that they would do better if it were between 2am – 5am? That’s the busiest I’ve ever seen Taco Bells.
- Domino’s – They are promoting every other item on their menu to make us forget that their pizza is still terrible.
- Papa John’s – Struck out looking with their promos with 2 of the most underachieving teams in baseball. Then they sponsor the epic fails of the ninja wannabe show. If anyone can’t wait until football season begins, it’s Papa John.
- Buffalo Wild Wings – Follow McDonald’s example of nicknaming itself “Mickey-D’s”, BWW has decided to dub itself, “B-Dub.” Shouldn’t a more accurate nickname be “B-dub-dub”? Either way, “dub” as an abbreviation of “W” is just silly.
- Sonic – Their pretzels are making me homicidal. God, I hate those two guys.
- KFC – Their tagline for their boneless wings is “I ate the bones.” Are they out of their minds?!?! Eating a bone is a choking hazard. It’s bad enough their food is unhealthy as-is and could kill you in the long run, now you could die suddenly by accidentally swallowing a wing?! I feel sorry for those photo-stocked models.
All this talk about pretzels are making me thirsty.
- Dunkin’ Donuts Jumps on the Pretzel-Bun Bandwagon (investorplace.com)
- Fast Food Marketing Power Rankings: Oct, 2011 edition (iomnibus.wordpress.com)