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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Retail is dying? Tell that to fast-food chains losing top talent

There’s plenty of talk about the retail industry dying, with malls closing and the slump stressing iconic chains like Sears and J. Crew, but healthier big-box giants such as Wal-Mart and Costco are still chronically in need of employees, at least for now. The number of U.S. retail jobs was about the same last year compared with 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can McDonald’s finally make a premium burger work?

McDonald’s has launched a line of premium mix-and-match sandwiches it calls Signature Crafted, a pricier option it hopes customers will bite onto despite their focus on value. The Signature Crafted line features three topping choices, and all come with white cheddar cheese. The timing of the rollout varies by market, and some restaurants offered the sandwiches earlier than this week.

Taco Bell will take popular chicken-shelled chalupa off menu

A Taco Bell treat that has a shell made entirely of fried chicken will vanish from the fast-food chain’s menu despite its popularity. Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch says the Naked Chicken Chalupa always was planned as a limited-time offer and will be taken off the menu in March.

McDonald’s hopes to lure customers by giving longtime menu items a face-lift

Old favorites are getting new life under the Golden Arches. Last month, McDonald’s rolled out two new sizes of Big Macs – the Grand Mac and the Mac Jr. – and a few weeks ago, it added to its annual Shamrock Shake offer with four new mint-flavored drinks. Other riffs on menu staples are being offered in regions around the country, including the Sriracha Big Mac, garlic fries and Chicken McGriddles.

Job market heats up for fast-food workers

Lisa Aragon just couldn’t get the headhunter to take no for an answer. Five times in a month, she turned down enticements, including higher pay and four weeks of paid vacation.

Sorry: No rules against large orders at drive-thrus

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Many of us who use drive-thrus regularly are often on our way to work. Unfortunately, we often end up behind someone who has placed an order for at least a dozen people. This situation tends to defeat the purpose of the drive-thru and renders the term “fast food” an oxymoron. People who need to feed a whole lot of people and don’t have time to cook should go to a supermarket delicatessen. They will probably save money that way, and the rest of us will save time. Please help me get my message out to the public.

McDonald’s testing fresh beef at 14 Dallas restaurants

McDonald’s says it’s testing fresh beef at 14 restaurants in Dallas, but that it’s too early to say whether fresh beef could replace its frozen patties nationally. The Oak Brook, Illinois company says the test is limited to its quarter pounder patties.

McDonald’s tests McNuggets without artificial additives

Like the indestructible Twinkie, Chicken McNuggets are practically a culinary punchline, a symbol of hyper-processed fast food with a list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry exam. But now McDonald’s wants to take at least some of the mystery substances out.