The Menus of Summer – How QSRs Beat the Heat

The warm sunny days and long evenings of summer coming up mean more outdoor activities, and less time in the kitchen. Consumers crave grilled foods, light dishes and refreshing drinks at home and in restaurants alike. QSR’s are releasing LTO and new menu items with this in mind. Here are a few off the more notable “new releases”:

Taco Bell – the king of the taco mash-up is at it again with the testing of their latest creation:

Collider Tacos – in test in Southern California, the tacos feature a flour tortilla spread with cheese sauce and shredded cheese, then wrapped around a hard shell taco. There is also a spicy version that features chipotle sauce and shredded cheese.

Starbucks – since they acquired La Boulange Bakery in 2013, Starbucks has been adding new menu items rather regularly. For summer 2015, they have added 8 new items, including 3 savory breakfast fold-overs, a new Panini, and 5 LTO sweet bakery items meant to pair with tea or coffee.

Here are a few of the offerings:

Chicken Artichoke Panini – a Mediterranean inspired sandwich on flatbread with grilled chicken breast, roasted artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato pesto, and Provolone cheese

Pepperoni and Tomato Foldover – La Boulange croissant dough wrapped around fillings including pepperoni, zesty tomatoes, and cheese

Frappuccino® Cookie – a buttery sugar cookie topped with chocolate and white confectionary icings

Corner Bakery – just in time for summer, Corner Bakery had debuted 4 new salads with healthy cues and inspired flavors.

Kale Caesar  kale and romaine tossed with Caesar dressing and finished with house made spicy croutons, Parmesan and Romano

Southwest Salad – greens mixed with slaw and topped with quinoa, black beans, cucumbers and tomatoes, with tortilla strips and avocado ranch

Southwest Avocado – a creamy avocado half served with roasted corn and tomato salsa, and finished with tortilla strips

4-Grain Tabbouleh – a mix of quinoa, wheat berries, red rice, and farro with tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and a light lemon dressing

Hardee’s – focusing on the backyard grilling season, Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. just released a picnic inspired burger:

The Most American Burger is here just in time for summer. It features a Black Angus patty topped with American cheese, tomato, a split hot dog, and kettle-cooked potato chips for the ultimate picnic mash-up

Taco John’s – the chain is hitting the summer in stride with a couple of new additions to its menu:

Street Tacos Trio  the trio features 3 tacos in chicken or beef with a cooling garlic-lime sauce and Mexican cheese in a soft corn and flour tortilla.

 Summer Drinks – featured for summer: Mango Citrus Rush and Strawberry Citrus Rush made with Sierra Mist, as well as a French Vanilla or Café Mocha Iced coffees

El Pollo Loco – just released new hand carved chicken salads contain 50% more meat than their regular salads. Here are a few of the new salads available for a limited time:

The Southwest Bacon is loaded with hand-carved chicken breast, bacon, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, onions strings, corn, and BBQ Ranch dressing

The Mango Avocado is topped with sweet mango salsa and creamy avocado pair with chicken, crumbled cotija, pepitas, and sweet roasted red peppers, all tossed with a tangy citrus vinaigrette.

What do you crave when the heat is turned up?

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