Why I don't fear zombies

Peter Romeo

Director of Digital Content

View more articles by Peter Romeo

You may be surprised to learn the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has devoted a section of its website to preparing for a zombie apocalypse. What a shovel-load of nonsense. The real threats to mankind are the drooling, lurching restaurant fanatics who suspend all reason in their relentless march toward whatever’s on their to-die-for list. Consider, for instance, these developments of the past week:

  • When Dominique Ansel Bakery temporarily doubled its limit on Cronuts to four per customer, the CBS radio station in New York reported the policy change as one of the day’s top news stories. Just to review the Bakery’s guidelines for customers: The line for Cronuts begins forming several hours before the establishment opens at 8 a.m. Any one there by 6 has a good chance of paying $5 per Cronut for their allotment (normally two per patron) of the 100 croissant/donut hybrids that are baked daily.
  • The Patina Group’s newest restaurant, Ray’s & Stark Bar in Los Angeles, features 45 pages of water choices. The establishment brags in a press release that the roster is the most extensive water list in Los Angeles, with selections that include a $12 tasting menu. Don’t worry if you don’t know your Fiji from the house brand, Beverly Hills 9OH2O. Tasting notes are included for each option. The prices range from $8 to $16 per bottle.
  • Zombies' hunger for human flesh is nothing compared to the casual-dining customer's love of chicken wings. That desire tends to bid up a restaurateur's cost while seriously depleting supplies of the bar staple. Chains have tried such alternatives as "boneless wings" (actually, pieces of breast meat,) tofu versions and turkey wings, sometimes marketed as ribs. But fanatics still stagger forward, arms thrust outward, teeth chomping, demanding their blue cheese and Buffalo spicing. They're insatiable. Now comes a stab at a bird of a different feather. Brick House Tavern, a self-described chain of "man caves," is serving duck wings as a limited time offer.  Fortunately for the sports-bar concept, the introduction came a week before McDonald’s confirmed that it’s rolling chicken wings systemwide. That’ll likely mean fewer wings available, at a higher cost.

If science could develop a 10-winged chicken, some kind of Franken-bird, casual chains might end their quest for alternatives to the pair that currently comes off the bird. But in the meantime, they’ll continue to deal with a different type of scary being. 

Today's top stories

1
Julia Stewart has resigned as CEO of IHOP and Applebee’s parent DineEquity after leading the franchisor for 16 years. Stewart will step down on March 1. Richard Dahl, DineEquity’s lead director, will...
2
After suffering a quarterly loss and a decline in same-store sales for all but one of its brands, Outback Steakhouse parent Bloomin’ Brands said it will close 43 underperforming restaurants. The four...
3
McDonald’s says it’s reinvented the drink straw, but will only showcase the technological breakthrough for a limited time. The new straw draws fluid from two levels of a drink, enabling customers to...
4
Most foodservice operators are very comfortable dealing with multiple suppliers. Even if you get the vast majority of your products from a broadline distributor and can theoretically get everything...
5
Providing exclusive consumer trends and insights to enhance your marketing strategy. Powered by Technomic . “Technomic is a Chicago-based consulting and research firm providing a 360° view of the...
6
Restaurateurs’ chances of having one of their own in the White House’s West Wing were dashed today Andy Puzder 's decision to pull himself out of contention for the post of secretary of labor . The...
7
An unknown number of restaurants are planning to close tomorrow in a combination of support for immigrant employees and acknowledgement the establishments can’t function without them. A nationwide...
8
My Fit Foods, a restaurant-retail hybrid featuring healthful meals that customers could buy on what amounted to a meal plan, has called it quits. The chain s aid on its website that all stores had...
9
On competition "This has been an industry of fast followership. If I see one more tempura green bean, I’m going to die.” On the so-called better-burger upstarts “I’m not totally sold on the fast-...
10
CEO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Beer Her charge: 550 full-service, casual burger restaurants, 85% of which are company-operated, and 17% of which are located in malls Prior posts CMO, EVP, Chief...