Fast Food development with Chucks


Three years ago I moved from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio for graduate school. Some believe I moved here solely for the quality education I would receive, however it was the city’s extensive fast food testing market that really sold me. The city is not only home to an absurd number of fast food headquarters, but its demographics and economy make it an ideal testing market. It is no secret that many of my friends are addicted to Taco Bell, so I found it quite amusing to taunt Poor Scholars’ own Rambo Nomolos with my early access to their new breakfast menu, and of course, their wildly successful Doritos Locos Tacos. With the announcement of the upcoming release of a Cool Ranch version, I began to brainstorm on some new snack company-fast food mash-ups I would personally love to see happen.

1.      Chic-fil-A and Kraft Mac N’ Cheese

Growing up my food-court choice was easily a Chic-fil-A sandwich with waffle fries…I mean seriously, they are waffle fries. This is part of the reason why I became so distraught last July when the chain became the center of a national marriage equality debate. While I am a staunch believer in the freedom of speech, my progressive principles led me to be unable to purchase their delicious sandwiches any longer. I envisioned a time where I could compromise on my opinions enough to enjoy fast food magic once again. Luckily, the folks at Kraft Foods, with living-necessity subsidiaries such as Nabisco, Pop-Rocks, Shake N’ Bake, Easy Cheese, and Vegemite (okay, so this one may be controversial), saved the day. What if two CEO’s could set aside their views and make a bipartisan and enjoyable sandwich option as unlikely as this kiss or this man becoming President of the United States? I think we can all agree a Chic-fil-A sandwich smothered in Kraft Mac N’ Cheese is something our nation needs in these uncertain times.

2.      Bojangles’ Biscuit  with Nestle Chocolate S’mores

My real friends know that I am a long time addict of NASCAR. My favorite driver has always been none other than the great Jeff Gordon. While other kids had posters of Michael Jordan, WWF Superstars, and Ken Griffey Jr. in their rooms, I was going all out making a shrine to The Kid. I acquired a vast collection of posters, lighting fixtures, bed spreads, figurines, clothing and an unrivaled hat pin collection. It was a yearly birthday tradition that my family and I would drive to Mooresville, NC to check out the team shops, then head to the yearly NASCAR fan preview where they unveil new paint jobs, hold autograph sessions, and have an auction to sell off pieces of cars likely acquired after some badass fiery wreck tore them apart. It was these yearly trips where I was first introduced to the magical world of Bojangles’. These people do with biscuits what Bubba did with shrimp. However one major component lacking with their menu is a narrow variety of dessert options. What if they decided to take an American icon, the s’more, and replace those pesky breakable and flimsy graham crackers with buttery, flakey biscuit deliciousness? Nestle Chocolate would make an ideal collaboration with this Charlotte, NC based company, especially with its history of attempts to break into the NASCAR scene. I am positive this item would have such a high demand that every Bojangles’ drive-thru across America would remind you of this with folks trying to get ‘em one.

3.      McDonald’s McRib with a Jiffy Cornbread Bun

First of all, you know you have reached the fast-food elite when your item has its own locator website. I anticipate the arrival with so much excitement that this winter I received a package from my sister and brother-in-law containing a shirt sporting the phrase “McRib is Back!!”. This BBQ sauce slathered pseudo-rib sandwich with pickles and onions literally makes my year; nevertheless I do find myself worrying that this creation is not growing with the times. With the threat of domestic geniuses putting out gems like the Double Down and the international outside-the-box thinking Japanese going boldly where no man has gone before, one can see why Ronald and his crew need to step up their game. Whether I am eating Memphis, Western Carolina, or Eastern Carolina BBQ, the first thing I crave is a nice slab of cornbread to mop up the flavor. What could be better than replacing that old McRib sesame seed bun with the sauce-sucking power of Jiffy cornbread? Having been an American institution since 1930, I would feel confident knowing the McRib is safe in the hands of Jiffy, so we can all avoid a future full of this.

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