Joining all the creepy mascots that have come before him is Happy the new McDonald's Happy Meal mascot.

Poll: Is McDonald’s New Happy Meal Mascot The Creepiest Fast Food Shill Yet?

Here’s a little secret about me. I hate mascots. Seeing grown adults running around in gigantic animal-like costumes makes my skin crawl. The sense of dread that washes over me when I see them also translates to their cartoonish counterparts hawking hamburgers, ice cream and other fast food fare on television. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of creeptastic mascots out there seeking to give us nightmares. [More]

(photo: Twitter user @JohnTaylor84)

Taco Bell Goes Smaller For A Change, Testing Crunchwrap Sliders

In recent years, Taco Bell has had a tendency to go large with many of its menu items, slapping XXL on its burritos and nachos, and selling “Big Box” combo meals along with 12 packs of tacos. But it looks like the fast food chain is now testing Shrink-Rayed “slider” versions of its Crunchwrap thing. [More]

Response To Chipotle’s “Please Don’t Bring Guns” Statement Is Predictably Divided

Response To Chipotle’s “Please Don’t Bring Guns” Statement Is Predictably Divided

Another chain eatery has put itself in the middle of the debate over gun rights after Chipotle announced yesterday that it would rather its customers didn’t bring firearms into their stores. Not surprisingly, the response to this decision has resulted in praise and condemnation, with little in between. [More]

McDonald’s Adding Go-Gurt Option To Happy Meals

McDonald’s Adding Go-Gurt Option To Happy Meals

In an effort to further change its image, McDonald’s announced today that it will soon be adding a yogurt option to its kids meals in the form of Yoplait’s kid-friendly Go-Gurt. Whether or not this is actually a healthier choice all depends on what you substitute the yogurt for. [More]

(Chris Martino)

Rep. Slaughter Asks McDonald’s To Switch To Antibiotic-Free Beef

Some 80% of antibiotics sold in this country go to farmers to put in animal feed, and while the livestock and pharmaceutical industries now like to pretend it’s for disease prevention, the primary motive for shoving drugs down animals’ throats is because antibiotics have the happy side effect of encouraging growth. The practice is so widespread that it would take one of the country’s largest beef-buyers to result in any effective change, which is why New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has called on McDonald’s to ditch drugged-up meat for good. [More]

Would You Like Guacamole With Your McDonald’s Meal?

Would You Like Guacamole With Your McDonald’s Meal?

You might react to this concept with either horror or curiosity: McDonald’s is testing guacamole as a condiment and dipping sauce at its restaurants in southern California, and they’re testing a fancy new Guacamole Burger in Denver. For 89 cents, they’ll put guacamole on anything. Anything? [More]

McDonald’s DIY Seasoned Fries Seem Like A Big Mess Waiting To Happen

McDonald’s DIY Seasoned Fries Seem Like A Big Mess Waiting To Happen

We’re not against the idea of seasoning french fries with flavors like “garlic parmesan” or “zesty ranch” (much better than the failed “blasé ranch”), but we are a bit concerned that the DIY seasoned fries being tested by McDonald’s might result in a huge mess. [More]

Rather than expand breakfast into lunch time, Burger King is making burgers part of breakfast.

Burger King Adding Burgers And Fries To Its Breakfast Menu

People have long asked fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King to make their breakfast menu available all day, no one really thinks to go the other way by putting burgers on the breakfast menu. But it looks like BK is going to try just that, with “Burgers at Breakfast.” [More]

Will Fast Food Workers Around The World Strike On May 15?

Will Fast Food Workers Around The World Strike On May 15?

In an effort to raise awareness for their goal of higher wages for fast food workers, labor organizers announced today that May 15 will be a day full of walk-offs, with workers at McDonald’s, Burger King and other eateries striking in 150 cities on six continents (sorry, Antarctica). [More]

Is There Room For Another 8,000 Subway Locations? Subway Thinks So

Today I learned there are 10 Subways within walking distance of the Consumerist Bat Cave (Philadelphia Branch).

The way things stand right now, there are around 26,000 Subway restaurants in the U.S., nearly twice the total number of McDonald’s in the country. In fact, Subway is larger than the number of eateries operated by 30 of the nation’s top 50 food chains — combined. And yet, claims the company’s top exec, there is still room to grow. [More]

(Morton Fox)

This Hack Squeezes The Most Calories You Can Get Out Of Taco Bell For Your Money

No one has ever said, “I’d like to get the least amount of stuff for my money.” So when you’ve only got a few bucks and need to fill up the old stomach hole with food, you want to stretch those spare dollars as far as they can go, toward the most calories you can shove in there. And of course, there’s a hack for that, if you don’t mind eating Taco Bell. [More]

Arby’s Tries To Class Itself Up With Test Of Grilled “Artisan Melts”

Arby’s Tries To Class Itself Up With Test Of Grilled “Artisan Melts”

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “artisan,” my mind automatically turns not to sepia-toned photos of craftspersons putting their passion into creating something you can’t get elsewhere, but to a chain of roast beef restaurants with more than 3,000 that is owned by a private equity firm. Thank goodness, some Arby’s are helping to make my vision of artisan foods a reality with a test of mass-produced sandwiches with grill marks on them. [More]

The Consumerist Quiz: Test Your Fast Food Calorie IQ

(Scott Lynch)

Earlier this week we told you about the most calorific appetizers, entrees, and desserts at the nation’s biggest sort-of-but-not-really Italian chain restaurants. While most of those dishes were well into 4-digit territory, most of us chow down on fast food more than we do at casual dining restaurants. [More]

Chipotle Price Hike To Hurt Steak-Lovers’ Wallets The Most

Chipotle Price Hike To Hurt Steak-Lovers’ Wallets The Most

Earlier this month, Chipotle (aka the restaurant your annoying co-worker calls “Chipoltay”) announced its first price hike in three years, citing increased costs for ingredients across the eatery’s menu. Now the company’s CFO is saying that customers who like the Chipotle steak burrito will likely be the ones who notice the biggest change in their lunch bill. [More]

Pizza Hut Manager Helped Boyfriend Rob Her Own Store… 3 Times In 4 Months

Pizza Hut Manager Helped Boyfriend Rob Her Own Store… 3 Times In 4 Months

It’s bad enough when a fast food manager assists in the robbery of the very store she’s entrusted to manage. It’s even worse when the person robbing the business is that manager’s boyfriend. But helping that no-good boyfriend pull off three robberies in only a few months, well… to quote Jaime Lannister, “The things I do for love.” [More]

Burger King Resurrects Creepy Subservient Chicken, Minus The Chicken

Burger King Resurrects Creepy Subservient Chicken, Minus The Chicken

Ten years ago, Burger King launched what is still one of the more bizarre marketing ploys of the Internet era — the Subservient Chicken, a “webcam” featuring a person in a chicken suit doing the bidding of visitors to the site. Because there are now people old enough to drive cars and go to college who missed this exceedingly creepy campaign the first time around, BK has (sort of) brought it back… though not quite. [More]

Taco Bell To Break From Its Authentic Mexican Roots With New American-Inspired Taco Joint

Taco Bell To Break From Its Authentic Mexican Roots With New American-Inspired Taco Joint

As everyone knows, Taco Bell’s deeply authentic Mexican roots go back to the company’s humble beginnings in 1843 as Taco Campana, a family business selling flatbreads to hungry travelers outside of Hermosilo. For more than 150 years, the Bell has been a leader in bringing the finest in Mexican cuisine — from the Meximelt to the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Loaded Griller to the Crunchwrap Supreme — to U.S. diners aching for the exotic flavors one can only find south of the border. So it’s surprising that the company has announced a new initiative to create a chain serving “American-inspired” tacos… and booze. [More]

Dunkin’ Donuts Profits Hurt By Crappy Weather, Moves Up California Opening Spree

Dunkin’ Donuts Profits Hurt By Crappy Weather, Moves Up California Opening Spree

When the Northeast experienced exceedingly nasty winter weather earlier this year, do you know what people didn’t do? They didn’t venture out of their houses for hot coffee, apparently. Dunkin’ Donuts announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2014, and they blame the crappy weather for profits that are $800,000 lower than last quarter. [More]