KFC is thinking globally and acting locally – at least when it comes to its menu. The chicken chain, which has a growing presence in China, has just introduced a crowd-pleasing item for that market: rice. Yup, this is the very first time that rice has made it on the KFC menu. And, no, the dish is not called Kentucky Fried Rice. The two new offerings are “Bacon Mushroom Chicken Rice” and “Ingenious Spicy Chicken Rice.” McDonald’s, KFC’s biggest competitor in China, is also tailoring its menu to local tastes with its new Spicy Pork sandwich. Meanwhile, Subway is aggressively targeting the Chinese market, with plans to open 500 stores in the next five years. And, of course, it also plans to localize its menu. Subway confirms it is testing a new Peking Duck sandwich with spicy Szechuan sauce. Yum.
Hold the tomatoes. If you like tomatoes on your burgers, you’re out of luck. An extremely cold winter in Florida has put a huge dent in the year’s tomato harvest, with up to 70 percent of the crop destroyed. That has caused a huge spike in price, and many fast-food franchises are not eager to foot the bill. A 25-pound box of tomatoes is now going for $30, up more than 300 percent from a year ago. “Fast food chains in particular are being impacted, because those restaurants buy tomatoes in bulk and put at least a thin slice on almost everything,” Terence McElroy, a spokesman at the Florida Department of Agriculture, told CNN. Burger King confirms that some of its restaurants have stopped offering tomatoes because of low supply. And Wendy’s is only garnishing its burgers and sandwiches with tomatoes upon request.
Free franchise. TCBY is giving away a store, but apparently no one really wants it. C’mon people, don’t you know that frozen yogurt is hot again? This Could Be Yours, The Great TCBY Store Giveaway is a national contest where one person will win a franchise valued at about $300,000. To enter, contestants must submit a video to TCBY’s YouTube channel explaining why they would be the perfect franchisee. The company recently extended the contest deadline to March 31. And judging from the few videos currently posted on the site, we understand why. By our count, there are only 30 entrants so far, and the quality of these videos is suboptimal at best. That means anyone who submits a half-way decent video between now and the end of the month has a really good chance of winning a free franchise. You can check out the competition and submit your own video here.