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Dispatches From The Fast-Food Wars: McDonald's Revamp, BK's Good 1Q And Taco Bell Focuses On Foodies

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Things are heating up in the already competitive fast-food sector.

Along with the recent Taco Bell (NYSE: YUM) breakfast menu campaign – that takes direct aim at industry giant McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) – and Mickey-D's counter-offensive, there have been other developments all along the fast food front. Here are the latest dispatches.

McDonald's earlier this week unleashed upon the world a retooled version of the company's mascot, Ronald McDonald. Along with his new wardrobe of yellow cargo pants and a vest, set off with a striped rugby shirt, McDonald's says Ronald “will take an active role on McDonald's social media channels around the world and engage consumers using the #RonaldMcDonald hastag.”

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The reworked Ronald McDonald comes after the company earlier this year admitted its menu had become too complicated, which contributed to its struggling sales figures, and announced a new push to keep the restaurants “relevant” to its customers.

Meanwhile, Burger King (NYSE: BKW) announced its net income jumped by 68.7 percent in the first quarter, despite brutal winter weather in North America and expenses from what the Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) website describes as a global re-franchising program at its more than 13,000 restaurants worldwide. The company also reported international comparable sales increased by two percent in the quarter.

In a press statement, Burger King credited the continued success of its “Big King” sandwich and the introduction of the “Spicy Original Chicken Sandwich” as helping to drive sales and traffic during the first quarter.The company also expanded its value menu last month to include value breakfast items, which it says “helped to grow traffic during the morning daypart.”

And as it looks for new worlds to conquer, Taco Bell apparently has its sights set on the higher-end “foodie” consumer.

NRN reports the company is launching a new concept chain, called “U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom” – which will offer premium tacos, fries and shakes along with, in the future, a lineup of craft beers and wine.

The new concept restaurant is scheduled to open in Huntington Beach, California this summer. Stay tuned.

Posted-In: breakfast menuEarnings News Wall Street Journal Restaurants Events Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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