With McDonald's having launched its new 1/3-pound Angus burgers, Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have gone on the offensive to remind consumers that they were the first fast-food chains to offer premium-quality burgers. The chains, part of parent company CKE Restaurants Inc., are also quick to point out the value in their burgers.

“The Original Six Dollar Burger at Carl’s Jr. has 24 percent more meat than McDonald’s Third Pounders, yet costs the same - $3.99,” said Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants. “And at Hardee’s, the 100% Black Angus beef Original Thickburger has just as much meat as McDonald’s Angus burger, but costs 60 cents less. Those are the facts and that’s the value of our burgers.”

“We’re glad being copied is considered the highest form of flattery, since we have been seeing a lot of it lately,” Puzder added. “Fortunately for our guests, our burgers are still better tasting and lower priced than the other guys’. We’ve successfully faced similar attempts to copy Carl’s Jr. Six Dollar Burgers and Hardee’s Thickburgers, and we’ve seen how McDonald’s versions fared against ours in their various test markets. No one has been able to match our taste, quality or price. However, we do want burger lovers everywhere to know the facts and, once they do, we’re certain that they will continue to believe that the first fast-food restaurants they could go to for premium-quality burgers – Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s – are still the best places to go for premium-quality burgers.”

CKE will be offering a money-back guarantee, beginning in mid-September, that will give customers a refund if they don’t agree that Hardee’s Thickburgers or Carl’s Jr.’s Six Dollar Burgers are better tasting than the McDonald’s Angus burgers.

Carl's Jr. is also launching the Big Carl, which has twice as much meat as a Big Mac, twice the cheese and sells for $2.49 in most restaurants. Big Macs average more than $3 in price.

Source: CKE Restaurants Inc.

Mar-Jac Poultry faces $380,000 in OSHA fines

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing $379,800 in penalties against Mar-Jac Poultry Inc. for safety and health violations at its Gainesville, Ga., facility.
The company is being cited with four willful violations with a proposed penalty of $252,000 for failing to update its hazard analysis in five year intervals as required, to establish specific procedures to maintain the integrity of process equipment and to institute equipment and procedural changes for the ammonia refrigeration system in 2004, 2005 and 2008. The employer also has failed to perform the required compliance audits for 2000, 2003 and 2007. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The plant is being cited with 37 serious safety and health violations for $127,800 in proposed penalties. The safety hazards include: a lack of proper machine guarding, uncovered floor holes, obstructed emergency exit routes, a lockout/tagout device not being affixed to electrical disconnect and portable fire extinguishers not being readily available. The health violations include failing to establish a maintenance program to ensure the reliability of the ammonia refrigeration system, implement noise controls and develop an emergency response plan for employees responding to ammonia emergencies. Additionally, two other-than-serious violations were found, but no penalty was assessed.

"Mar-Jac Poultry management should not wait until a serious injury or death occurs to any of its workers before making the necessary changes to its safety and health program," said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "When a company knows and continues to ignore its responsibilities OSHA will step in to protect the workers."

Source: OSHA

Arby's to expand with 47 new locations

Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. has announced that it has signed agreements with 11 new and seven existing franchisees for the development of 47 new Arby’s restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.

“The crave for Arby’s slow roasted, freshly sliced roast beef and other premium, one-of-a-kind menu items keeps growing, which is why we continue to expand to reach as many of our hungry customers as possible,” said Tom Garrett, president & CEO of Arby’s Restaurant Group.

The new locations will add restaurants throughout Canada, as well as Kentucky, Texas, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Colorado and California.

Source: Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc.