— Burger King continues to excel while McDonald's continues to struggle. The former, which is now based in Canada, reported that same-store sales increased by 6.7 percent in the second quarter, while the latter's dropped by 0.7 percent. Burger King attributes it success to new "innovative" items like its popular chicken fries and its extra long pulled pork sandwich. However, one place McDonald's is being Burger King is in Germany where the chain plans to open 100 new locations, many of which will be former Burger King outlets.
— Cult-loved burger chain Shake Shack can't stop churning out new sandwiches. In addition to its new ChickenShack, the restaurant is now serving a Roadside Shack which is "inspired by the many traditional U.S. roadside burger stands of yore that dot our highways." The sandwich is a cheeseburger topped with caramelized onions that are simmered in beer and bacon, and it's now available at all U.S. Shake Shacks (except for those at stadiums).
— The Food and Drug Administration wants Americans to be more aware of how much sugar they are consuming. The department formally proposed requiring "nutrition labels to list amounts of added sugar and recommended consumption levels" on Friday. The rule would recommend that people intake no more than 300 calories a day of added sugar from packaged food and beverages. This means the recommended intake would be capped at around 13 teaspoons of sugar. For comparison, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has nearly 10 teaspoons. Additionally, the FDA is requiring chain restaurants to display calorie counts on menus.
— Mast Brothers — the Brooklyn-based chocolatier especially popular among the hipster set — is brewing a chocolate "beer" in New York. The drink — which is already on offer at the company's London store — is not similar to a chocolate stout but is instead a non-alcohol beer "made out of chocolate." The company cold-brews roasted and shelled cacao beans for 24 hours in fermentation tanks. The only ingredients in the drink in addition to chocolate are CO2 and nitrogen, which are used to help carbonate the "beer" and give it a frothy head. Unfortunately stateside, it is currently available only at the company's Brooklyn factory and not in stores.
— Airlines are working hard to change the reputation of airplane food, especially Emirates. The airline greets first class passengers with Turkish coffee and a leather-bound menu that "details the made-to-order food options." This means passengers can swap microwaved soggy pastas and pretzel bags for canapés, beef tenderloins, and even wild Iranian caviar. The cuisine is served on a real table setting complete with a bread basket, salt and pepper shakers, white tablecloth, and a wine glass (with a stem). A representative for the airline says the company does a lot of research into what ingredients are available in the regions it flies to and then bases its menus off of them, so often the foods are seasonal. Sounds better than a dinner of Bloody Marys.
— Chicken chain Chick-fil-A continues its expansion streak: The chain will open its first location in Long Island this September. Located in Port Jefferson, it will be the Georgia-based company's first standalone location in New York state. The chain has plans to open two more locations in Long Island shortly after the initial launch.
— Mobile payment company Square — which acquired food delivery start-up Caviar last year — has filed for an initial public offering. Over the years, Square has managed to raise millions in funding, including a rumored $200 million last August.
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