It's A Wrap: What's Happening In Fast Food This Week

Image above: Slices-N-Stix at Little Caesar’s Pizza

Even as temperatures plummet across the country, things are definitely heating up in the QSR and fast-casual categories this week. Here’s a quick rundown.

Menu Additions

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announced early exclusive access this week to the chain’s new Golden Carolina BBQ Tenders for to-go and catering guests only, in addition to DashPass by DoorDash members, through Feb. 27. The new tenders are made with Golden Carolina BBQ sauce and served with a choice of two country sides plus buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins.

Little Caesar’sPizza is offering its Slices-N-Stix -- pepperoni pizza slices and cheese bread sticks in one pizza -- for $7.99, including two new options for Stix topping: bacon or jalapeños.



Panera Bread has added to its sandwich menu with two new Sourdough Melts served on Country Rustic Sourdough. The Bacon Avocado Melt is made with applewood smoked bacon, avocado, smoked gouda, everything bagel seasoning blend and chipotle aioli. The Southwest Chicken Melt is made with smoked pulled chicken, smoked gouda, red onion, cilantro, and chipotle aioli. The chain is also offering a cup of soup for a limited time for $1.


Aussie Grill, the Tampa-based, fast-casual restaurant in the Bloomin' Brands Inc. portfolio, has opened a new location in Canton, Michigan. The free-standing location also includes a drive-thru.

Beard Papa  announced it will open a Cerritos, California store on Jan. 27. The new location of the international cream puff dessert chain brings the brand to more than 450 locations worldwide in 15 countries and territories.

Chicken SaladChick has signed several new franchise agreements that will add 21 new locations in Texas over the next five years to its current 30 open locations across the state.

Jersey Mike's Subs signed a development agreement with Redberry Restaurants, one of Canada's largest restaurant operators to open 300 Jersey Mike's restaurants across Canada by 2034. The Canadian expansion marks the first Jersey Mike’s locations outside the U.S.

Marco’s Pizza opened its 1,200th store in Louisville, Kentucky with Hoogland Restaurant Group, Marco's largest franchisee. The Hoogland team boasts a 117-unit Marco's Pizza portfolio, with plans to grow its unit count by 20 this year.

Taco Bell has opened the first drive-thru-only Taco Bell in Kansas City, Missouri. The location  has no seating or lobby, and “features a dual-lane drive-thru, a vestibule equipped with two ordering kiosks, and a late-night pickup window for mobile orders,” according to a release.

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