MONEY Fast Food

Goodbye Kitty: McDonald’s Recalls Happy Meal Toys

McDonald’s has recalled 2.3 million Hello Kitty Happy Meal toys because of a possible choking hazard.

TIME Fast Food

McDonald’s Recalls 2.3 Million Hello Kitty Toys

After two children reporteldy choked on Hello Kitty themed whistles

McDonald’s recalled 2.3 million Hello Kitty-themed toys after two children reportedly choked on a detachable whistle, regulators said Monday.

The fast food giant announced the recall of the Hello Kitty figurine with a detachable red whistle after it received two separate reports of a child inhaling a whistle part, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. One of those children required medical attention after the incident.

Roughly 2.3 million figurines were sold in the U.S. and an additional 200,000 in Canada in October and November.

TIME Fast Food

Consumers Still Aren’t Lovin’ McDonald’s

A McDonald's restaurant on March 12, 2013 in Mill Valley, California.
A McDonald's restaurant on March 12, 2013 in Mill Valley, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Fast-food chain says its October sales slid in U.S., Russia

McDonald’s has said it is planning to simplify its menu and revamp its marketing approach, but consumers still aren’t loving the fast-food chain.

The company reported global comparable sales dropped 0.5% in October, as declines were reported in the U.S. and markets abroad. Though the reported declines weren’t as great as analysts had anticipated, McDonald’s results were far worse than a year ago, when growth was notched in the U.S. and Europe.

This year, comparable sales slid 1% in the U.S. and fell 0.7% in Europe. Analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix had expected a 1.9% drop in the U.S. and a 2% decrease in Europe. Europe’s results were stung by “very weak” results in Russia, where McDonald’s has faced pressure from temporary restaurant closures.

Fast-food chains such as McDonald’s are facing pressure in the U.S. and other mature markets as consumers are spending more of their money at fast-casual chains, such as Chipotle. The rival chains offer menus that consumers perceive to be healthier, as well as fairly quick service that doesn’t require a server. The industry is also challenged by the fact that low-income consumers in the U.S., a group that spends more at fast-food chains, are still facing weak wage growth and poor job prospects.

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MONEY Fast Food

Will Expanded Menu Make Pizza Hut Hot?

Pizza Hut announced a makeover Monday involving the rollout of new toppings, crusts, sauces and specialty pies.

TIME Fast Food

Pizza Hut’s New Menu Has All Kinds of Crazy Stuff

Pizza Hut Sweet Sriracha Dynamite
Pizza Hut's "Sweet Sriracha Dynamite" Pizza Hut

Salted pretzel and curry!

Pizza Hut is taking a ride on the wild side to halt its recent sales decline.

A new menu launching Nov. 19 includes 10 new crusts, new topping and sauce options, and a selection of more low-calorie pies, the Associated Press reports. The new sauces include premium crushed tomato and honey sriracha. The new crust flavors include salted pretzel, toasted cheddar, curry, and fiery red pepper. The curry flavor is one of two that will be offered for a limited time and switched out regularly.

Pizza Hut’s new offerings are an attempt to turnaround consistent declines in sales, CNBC reports. Pizza Hut has experienced a 2%-decline in same-store sales over the past year, while its competitors Papa John’s and Domino’s have grown.


TIME Fast Food

Burger King Serving Up Better Sales Than McDonald’s

Burger King Profits Rise 19 Percent
Customers dine at a Burger King restaurant on August 1, 2014 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Fast-food chain saw higher sales at home and in most markets abroad

Burger King reported a 1.4% increase in third-quarter revenue as the fast-food chain reported higher sales at home and in most markets abroad, results that were far better than what McDonald’s served recently. Here’s what you need to know about the latest earnings report.

What you need to know: Burger King’s results were solid considering the pressure many major household brands are facing as consumer eating habits change in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe. The company’s comparable sales grew 3.6% in the U.S. and Canada, better than the 2.5% growth projected by analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix. Total comparable sales across all regions climbed 2.4%, matching analysts’ expectations and easily besting the 3.3% decline that McDonald’s reported last month. After that poor report, McDonald’s said it would focus more on food quality and digital payments to help improve its results.

What helped fuel Burger King’s stronger performance at home? Well the company said its sales were bolstered by the reintroduction of chicken fries during the quarter, and the BBQ Bacon Whopper was a limited time offer that remained popular. Burger King also stayed focused on price, pointing to success with its value menu offerings.

The big number: Total revenue grew by $3.8 million to $278.9 million, slightly under what analysts had expected, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg. But adjusted per-share earnings were 27 cents, matching Wall Street’s expectations. Comparable sales grew in all markets with the exception of the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

What you might have missed: The results are the first Burger King has unveiled since the company said it is angling to buy Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons. That deal — which would put the combined company in Canada in a deal many speculate is fueled in part by a desire to pay a lower tax rate — didn’t get too many shout outs in Burger King’s prepared statement. The company simply said it was excited to announce the transaction, a deal that is expected to close in late 2014 or early next year.

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MONEY Fast Food

Starbucks Wants to Deliver Coffee to Your Home

Starbucks is planning a new online and mobile service that will deliver coffee and snacks to your house or office.

MONEY Fast Food

Taco Bell Launches App to Make Fast Food Faster

Like McDonald's, Taco Bell is trying to win over millennials by feeding their need for speed.

TIME Television

Bill Murray Loved Working at Little Caesars

Back in the day, he worked alongside celebrity chef Kerry Simon

Actor Bill Murray came from humble beginnings — and so did his friend, celebrity chef Kerry Simon. They both worked at a Little Caesars pizza shop in Illinois, Murray said during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday. It was the best job he ever had, Murray admitted, although it’s hard to see how anything could top Ghostbusters.

MONEY Fast Food

Millennials to Blame for McDonald’s September Slump

The fast-food chain is getting hit not only by problems in China but also by rising costs and changing tastes. Coca-Cola is suffering too.

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