Restaurants Cross Line To Fight Recession

According to a news report from hartfordbusiness.com, “The recession is jolting the restaurant industry to concoct who’d-a-thunk-it products that are redefining what even the industry’s biggest brands stand for.”

“Never mind that KFC’s middle name is “fried,” as in Kentucky Fried Chicken. Its biggest campaign of 2009 is to sell what it calls unfried (i.e. grilled) chicken,” said the story. “Pizza Hut, whose first name is pizza, is pushing pasta like there’s no tomorrow. Home delivered, no less. McDonald’s, the world’s biggest fast-food chain, is in the midst of rolling out a line of designer coffees — even as Starbucks is peddling value meals. It gets crazier. Domino’s is delivering subs and pasta-stuffed bread bowls. Boston Market, the rotisserie chicken king, is pitching crispy chicken. Arby’s, the anti-burger chain, is hyping Roast Burgers. Cheesecake Factory, known for its gigantic servings, is offering “small” meals. Even Morton’s, the pricey prime steakhouse, has $5 burgers at the bar. “This is a defining moment for the industry,” says Hudson Riehle, research chief at the National Restaurant Association. “The financial crisis has brought with it a redefining of boundaries.”