TIME Culture

America Has a New Favorite Healthy Fast Food Option

Subway has fallen for several reasons

MIMI is a Time Inc. property.

Burrito lovers, rejoice! Chipotle has moved into the top spot when it comes to healthy eating in a jiffy, according to Business Insider.

Between the ripped dude who has claimed to eat Chipotle every day for several months straight while maintaining washboard abs to consistent sales growth, the Mexican food chain is enjoying quite the popularity boom.

Subway, on the other hand, saw their sales plummet by 3%, according to The Washington Post. Once numero uno in terms of the fast food hierarchy, the sandwich purveyors dropped to number three in the ranks for the first time in seven years. Couple that with the legal issues former spokesperson Jared Fogle is facing following an FBI investigation and it creates the perfect storm of bad publicity.

The Upshot, a New York Times blog, cites the average Chipotle order as containing 1070 calories, but that isn’t stopping self-proclaimed healthy eaters from singing its praises. This is largely due to the chain’s emphasis on serving protein that isn’t laden with human antibiotics (and how many fast food eateries can say that?) along with a commitment to prepping ingredients fresh on a daily basis.

And, of course, you don’t have to load up on sour cream, cheese or even a tortilla to dine on a burrito at Chipotle. Keep your order to a lean protein, rice, guac, salsa and lettuce and you’ll cut that 1070 calorie order nearly in half.

This article originally appeared on MIMI.

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TIME Fast Food

KFC Has Totally Reinvented the Chicken Bucket

Yes, the chicken bucket

Pictures are forever. And now so is that time you regret eating an entire family-sized bucket of chicken by yourself.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary in Canada, KFC has introduced the “Memories Bucket,” a Bluetooth-enabled bucket of fried chicken that can also print photos from your smartphone. As the bucket states, all you have to do is “Snap. Select. Send. Share.”

This is probably best for those of you who look inexplicably gorgeous when you eat. Luckily for the rest of us, BGR has reported that there’s no word of the Memories Bucket being available to the general public, so we can continue to shamelessly eat our beloved greasy chicken without fear of those moments being immortalized.

This isn’t the first time Yum! Brands, the company that owns KFC, has combined food and technology. Earlier this year, Pizza Hut (another Yum! Brands food chain) released a Blockbuster Box in Hong Kong that allows customers to create a makeshift film projector using just a pizza box and a smartphone.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The 9 Worst Breakfasts for Your Waistline

And what you should eat instead

healthiest foods, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, eggs, breakfast, dairy
Photograph by Danny Kim for TIME; Gif by Mia Tramz for TIME

Recently, food marketers have noticed a new trend. Even as younger consumers have become more kale-curious and health-conscious, they are still clamoring for one particular type of fast food: breakfasts. In response, Taco Bell introduced an A.M. menu—including the new and terrifying Biscuit Tacos, where half the calories come from fat. McDonald’s, meanwhile, announced it was going to experiment with serving Egg McMuffins and pancakes all day long.

The media dubbed this battle for your dollar “The Breakfast Wars”—but you may be the true casualty.

Breakfast can be a good thing. Studies show that people who take time for a morning meal consume fewer calories over the course of the day, have stronger cognitive skills, and are 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese. But when food marketers get their hands on it, “a hearty breakfast” turns into something more like “a heart-breaking breakfast,” because much of what’s on offer at America’s restaurants—and the grocery aisles—is a collection of fatty scrambles, misguided muffin missiles, and pancakes that look like manhole covers.

It’s time for a wake up call. Eat This, Not That! magazine editors searched out the good, the bad, and the greasy and put together this special report: The Worst Breakfast Foods in America 2015!

  • Worst Sweet Cereal

    Kellogg’s Honey Smacks (1 cup)

    100 calories, .5g fat, 40mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 15g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: Scarfing a Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie and calling it breakfast.

    The Smacks mascot, Dig’em Frog, needs a smackdown: His cereal has more sugar than Tony the Tiger’s, Fred Flintstone’s or even Cap’n Crunch! Worse, each puff is coated with partially hydrogenated oil, a substance even fast-food chains are about to ban because they contain traces of trans-fats. Smacks also contain caramel color, which has been shown to increase the risk of cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen for humans, too. General Mills just announced they’d be removing artificial colors from their cereals; ask Kellogg’s to do the same.

    Eat This Instead!

    General Mills’ Kix

    110 calories, 1 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar

    Kix is the safest of all sweet cereals, and go great with blueberries.

  • Worst “Healthy” Cereal

    Bear Naked Go Bananas…Go Nuts Granola (1⁄2 cup)

    280 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 10 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: a Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Muffin in a bowl—except this granola has more saturated fat!

    Granola may be the most overrated breakfast food of all time. What do you think is holding all those banana-y clumps together? Sugar and oil. And 4 grams of fiber just isn’t enough to save this bowl. Studies have shown that if you eat more fiber at breakfast, you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day.

    Eat This Instead!

    Kellogg’s All-Bran Original (1 cup)

    160 calories, 2 g fat, 20 g fiber, 12 g sugar

    It’s called All-Bran! This is as fiber-rich as it gets, with a touch of sweetness, too.

  • Worst Doughnut

    Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Butternut Donut

    420 calories, 17 g fat (8 g saturated), 60 g carbohydrates, 35 g sugar

    That’s the Sugar Equivalent of: one serving of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream—except this doughnut has 130 more calories, 3 grams more fat and 22 more carbs!

    Good doughnuts hover in the 200- to 300-calorie range, but Dunkin’ Donuts has broken new barriers with this doughy disaster. At 420, it has more calories than a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with hash browns and nearly as much sugar as 5 bowls of Froot Loops. In fact, it’s the highest-calorie doughnut out there—neither Krispy Kreme nor Tim Horton’s have one that tops 400 calories. Speaking of numbers, here’s another: The Blueberry Butternut has 44 ingredients, including Eat This, Not That! must-avoids like propylene glycol (aka an ingredient in anti-freeze), preservatives and artificial flavors. And how many actual blueberries? Zero.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Lemon Donut

    260 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated), 29 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar

    This has an equally-long list of artificial ingredients, but it’s one of the lowest-calorie options at Dunkin’ Donuts.

  • Worst Breakfast Burrito

    Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap — Sausage

    710 calories, 47 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,260 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: Two regular dinnertime Taco Bell burritos, eaten for breakfast!

    Taco Bell? For breakfast? The news made everyone laugh last year. But the joke’s on you: Most items are more than 500 calories. For the Sausage Crunchwrap, the Bell found a way to stuff sausage and hash browns into this carb vessel, plus shredded cheddar cheese, a pile of eggs and 50 other ingredients, many unpronounceable. The Breakfast Wars are most brutal to your belly.

    Eat This Instead!

    Taco Bell A.M. Grilled Taco — Egg and Cheese

    170 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated), 330 sodium, 15 g carbohydrates

    If you’re south of the border, order the Egg and Cheese sandwich, sound advice at any fast food chain in the A.M. hours. This one has 12 grams of tummy-filling protein.

  • Worst Breakfast Sandwich

    Hardee’s Monster Biscuit

    710 calories, 47 g fat (18 g saturated), 2,160 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Sodium and Fat Equivalent of: A 6″ Meat Lovers Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut! In one sandwich!

    This Monster monstrosity has three kinds of pork and more than a day’s worth of sodium. From the bottom up, you’ll find ham, and then cheese, and then a sausage patty, and then more cheese, and then a folded egg, and then bacon, all between a fatty biscuit. A close second for Worst: The Jack in the Box Loaded Breakfast Sandwich, which has the same ingredients between sourdough bread, for the same amount of calories—but with far less sodium.

    Eat This Instead!

    Hardee’s Frisco Breakfast Sandwich

    360 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,100 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrates

    Every single breakfast option at Hardee’s has too much sodium—unless you order the grits—but at least this one also has 19 grams of protein.

  • Worst “Healthy” Breakfast

    Dunkin’ Donuts Multigrain Bagel with Reduced Fat Strawberry Cream Cheese

    500 calories, 17 g fat (6.5), 650 sodium, 78 g carbohydrates

    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: A Bacon McDouble at McDonald’s, yet without the benefit of its significant protein!

    The worst part about this breakfast is that scores of health-conscious eaters (who somehow wandered into a Dunkin’, perhaps for the coffee) order this thinking they’re making a smart choice. No matter how healthy the bagel or its toppings may appear, there is just no escaping the fact that this one is bogus. In fact, you’re unlikely to find any bagel combination at chain restaurants that register less than 400 calories, because most have refined carbs and low-grade fats.

    Eat This Instead!

    Dunkin’ Donuts Egg and Cheese English Muffin Sandwich

    240 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 490 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates

    With 12 grams of protein and less sodium than in years past, this is a Dunkin’ Do.

  • Worst Pancakes

    Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast

    1,670 calories, 105 g fat (33 g saturated), 2,765 mg sodium, 148 g carbohydrates, 64 g sugar

    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 33 McDonald’s Hotcakes stacked high!

    Wait, doesn’t this belong on a list of the Worst Desserts in America? IHOP has New York Cheesecake Pancakes. Perkins sells ones called Apple Pie. But Denny’s Peanut Butter Cup Pancake Breakfast out-sweets them all. They’ve stuffed two buttermilk pancakes with chocolate and white chocolate chips, and then topped it with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce. The result is a dish with more sugar than 5 servings of Edy’s Ice Cream. (Throw in eggs, hash browns and two sausage links, and the sodium count soars, too.) Craziest part: They offer maple syrup on the side.

    Eat This Instead!

    Denny’s Build-Your-Own-Grand-Slam with 2 Pancakes (370 calories) and 2 egg whites (60 calories).

  • Worst Breakfast Omelette

    IHOP Chorizo Fiesta Omelet

    1,300 calories, 106 g fat (34 g saturated, 1 g trans), 3,220 sodium, 33 g carbohydrates. But if you also order the accompanying side of pancakes and syrup, it’s 1,990 calories and 42 grams of saturated fat.

    That’s the Sodium Equivalent of: Eating 273 Cheetos for breakfast

    IHOP was one of the last chains to release its nutritional numbers, and given the national-debt-level calorie counts of much of its menu, we can see why. This overstuffed omelette is bursting with chorizo, roasted peppers, pepper jack cheese and onions and then smothered in sour cream and chili sauce. Throw in the three additional pancakes, and you’ve got a “healthy” meal with a day’s worth of calories.

    Eat This Instead!

    IHOP Simple & Fit Vegetable Omelette

    310 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 saturated), 750 mg sodium, 6 g carbs

  • Worst Breakfast in America

    Cheesecake Factory Bruleéd French Toast

    2,780 calories, N/A fat (93 g of saturated fat), 2,230 mg sodium, 120 g sugar

    That’s the Saturated Fat Equivalent of: 6 Sonic cheeseburgers, and the calorie equivalent of 40 Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkins.

    Speaking of dessert for breakfast! This “rustic” dish will rust your arteries. It has a full day’s worth of sodium, more than a day’s worth of calories, three to four days worth of sugar and a week’s worth of saturated fat. Cheesecake Factory won’t reveal the total fat count—maybe because they can’t count that high? Meet the absolute Worst Breakfast in America.

    Eat This Instead

    Cheesecake Factory Plain Omelette

    490 calories, other nutritionals N/A

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

    More from Eat This, Not That!

TIME Dairy Queen

Meet the Rogue Dairy Queen That Serves Whatever It Wants

Two-Story Dairy Queen The First To Open In Manhattan
Andrew Burton—Getty Images

Pick up a Polish sausage and a Mr. Maltie

The Dairy Queen in downtown Moorhead, Minn., has that quintessential mid-century look with slanted roof and red and white striped awning. It stands out for more than its retro look. The location serves its own unique mix of items, shunning its corporate overlord and the standard menu fare.

The unique setup is a by-product of a 66-year-old contract, reports the Associated Press. The DQ was set up in 1949, and the deal allows the location to dish out treats long since removed from other DQ menus as well as the owner’s choice of other add-ons.

“If we changed to the new corporate way, virtually all our food items would be gone,” owner Troy DeLeon, told the Associated Press. “The corporate way is everything exactly the same.”

This includes meal items such as barbecue sandwiches and Polish sausages as well as the location’s much-loved frozen treats, with unique toppings (some discontinued by corporate). The favorite dessert items include: the Mr. Maltie, a chocolate malt on a stick; the Monkey Tail, a chocolate-covered frozen banana; and the Chipper Sandwich, a chocolate cookie, vanilla ice-cream sandwich dipped in chocolate.

Dairy Queen is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

TIME

McDonald’s Promotions, New Menu Items Fail to Jolt U.S. Sales

McDonald's
Christoph Schmidt—Christoph Schmidt/picture-allian

Burger chain remains under pressure from rivals

Sales at McDonald’s U.S. stores slipped again in the second quarter, as efforts to generate business with new featured menu items and promotions failed to lift traffic at the fast-food operator’s restaurants.

The burger chain, which is facing pressure as more consumers defect for rival chains such as Chipotle [fortune-stock symbol=”CMG”], reported same-store sales for the second quarter dropped 2% in the U.S., while operating income for that region dropped 6%. Analysts had projected a less severe 1.5% drop, according to Consensus Metrix.

President and Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took on the effort to steer a turnaround at McDonald’s earlier this year, attempted to strike a positive tone despite the muted results.

“We have made meaningful progress since announcing the initial steps of McDonald’s turnaround plan in early May,” said Easterbrook. “While our second quarter results were disappointing.”

McDonald’s on Thursday said in the U.S., local market tests would continue for all-day breakfast as well as a move to streamline the menu to make service speedier. The world’s largest restaurant company has been testing limited-time menu items, like the third-of-a-pound burger, and also has made some brand image moves like reviving the Hamburglar character and pledging to stop selling chicken raised with some antibiotics.

Overall, McDonald’s reported revenue slipped 10% to $6.5 billion, though it would have increased 1% excluding the strong U.S. dollar. Earnings were also down 10% to $1.26 per share. Those results were better than what analysts had predicted.

TIME Labor

New York Moves to Raise Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers to $15 an Hour

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made raising the minimum wage a personal mission

On behalf of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a special panel—the Fast Food Wage Board—recommended that the state’s minimum wage for employees of fast-food chain restaurants be increased to $15 an hour. The previous minimum wage—enacted on December 31, 2014—for fast-food workers in New York City was $8.75 per hour; the new minimum wage represents a 70% increase.

Under the board’s recommendation, the wage would take effect first in New York City by 2018, then be expanded to the rest of the state. The decision will circumvent the state’s legislature and move straight to the New York state labor commissioner, where it is likely to be approved.

The decision follows that of other large cities that have moved to increase their minimum wages, such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the University of California moved to raise its hourly minimum wage to $15 per hour, affecting 3,200 of its 195,000 employees.

Cuomo has long advocated for the minimum wage hike, writing in an op-ed in The New York Times in May that “nowhere is the income gap more extreme and obnoxious than in the fast-food industry.”

TIME

McDonald’s All-day Breakfast Is Coming

The fast-food giant may roll out all-day breakfast as soon as October.

Well, that was fast: just months after it began testing an all-day breakfast menu in some markets in April, McDonald’s is eyeing October to roll out the option nationwide.

The Wall Street Journal has the details on a memo McDonald’s sent on Tuesday to all U.S. employees and franchisees that alerted them to be ready. The memo was sent by LeAnn Richards, a franchisee in Tucson who led a task-force studying the success of all-day breakfast. (The result: people love it.) McDonald’s began the testing in San Diego in April, then quickly expanded to 12 locations in Mississippi, then to stores in Nashville.

McDonald’s has been struggling for more than two years, with Q1 2015 earnings, down for the sixth consecutive quarter. That was in April, two months after it fired CEO Don Thompson. (The company’s financial woes were chronicled in a December 2014 Fortune cover story.)

Can egg McMuffins and orange juice buoy the food giant back to growth? It had better, since other efforts have not done the trick: McDonald’s franchisees, in a recent survey, said the turnaround isn’t working, leading one analyst to give the company the worst six-month outlook he had seen in 21 years. Thus, new CEO Steve Easterbrook is placing high hopes on the power of breakfast—for lunch and dinner.

 

TIME Food & Drink

Here’s McDonald’s Unofficial Secret Menu

What you should order—and what you shouldn't

Fast food fans love to speculate about the existence of secret menu items. And now McDonald’s lovers have proof the restaurant is in on the fun—sort of.

Though a McDonald’s spokesperson tells PEOPLE there is no official secret menu, this person did reveal that the typical menu is commonly adapted.

“We know our customers are really creative, and they tell us all the time that they enjoy customizing our menu,” says the spokesperson.

Some of the more popular over-the-top customizations—with crazy names to match like the “Land, Sea and Air Burger” and the “Monster Mac”—were first released on HacktheMenu.com.

Now, during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, an anonymous McDonald’s manager has confirmed that you can “add, remove or change ingredients by special request. These are called ‘grill orders’ (i.e. Big Mac no pickle).”

DOUBLE CHEESE BURGER BIG MAC jel? #McDonaldssecretmenu

A photo posted by #~ʍ∆ィǂᏲ∈Ꮤ Ƥ®∅ѵ¡ℕ~# (@mattyprovin) on

But being able to order items off the unofficial menu is just a matter of who is behind the counter, says the manager.

“Order one and the workers might not know it by name,” the manager wrote. “But if you explain what it is, and are willing to pay for all the ingredients, it’s just another ‘grill order’ that we can make up.”

The manager—who used a screenshot of their McDonald’s training log as identity verification—also shared a tip on what not to order.

“DON’T order… the grilled chicken,” they say. “It’s horrible frozen chicken that we defrost and steam and it’s a bit gelatinous.”

Duly noted.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME India

Domino’s Pizza Now Delivers to Passengers on India’s Notoriously Chaotic Trains

General Economy As India's Growth to Top China For First Time Since 1999, IMF Says
Dhiraj Singh—Bloomberg/Getty Images Passengers disembark as commuters wait to board a train during the morning rush hour at Kurla railway station in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

It may take longer than 30 minutes, though

Pizza deliverymen frequently encounter less-than-ideal circumstances in the course of their jobs, often having to brave rain, snow, traffic and other adverse conditions to make their deliveries on time.

Several employees at Indian franchises of global chain Domino’s Pizza, however, find themselves facing a rather unique challenge: navigating the country’s immensely crowded and chaotic train stations to deliver to passengers inside trains that sometimes stop only for a few minutes.

Domino’s now delivers pizzas to over 200 different train lines after debuting the service this February, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After identifying 41 stations close to its franchises in India’s northern region, the fast-food chain began giving its customers the option of placing their orders (at least two hours before the train arrives at a particular station) by phone, text or the Internet. The company plans to add dozens of different routes across the South Asian nation’s dense and complex rail network in the coming months.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us,” Harneet Rajpal, a senior vice president for Domino’s India, told the Journal.

Although business isn’t exactly booming yet as far as train deliveries are concerned, the service is still going strong despite the logistical hassles — disorganized stations with a maze of platforms and notoriously unreliable trains foremost among them. Just 350 orders have been placed in the past five months, although Domino’s did manage to successfully complete all but four of them.

With tens of millions of passengers using India’s railways on a daily basis, however, the potential increase in customers offsets the innumerable risks. Other fast-food chains like Pizza Hut, KFC and Subway are negotiating a similar arrangement with India’s railway authorities.

“Nobody has heard of pizzas on trains before,” Robin Kalita, a director of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, told the Journal. “It’s all so new. Even we’re still learning.”

[WSJ]

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