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El Pollo Loco picks Jefferies, Morgan Stanley for IPO: sources

By Olivia Oran and Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - El Pollo Loco Inc has selected investment banks Jefferies Group LLC and Morgan Stanley to lead an initial public offering of the private equity-owned fast-food chicken chain later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The move makes El Pollo Loco the latest among several private equity-backed restaurant chains hoping to go public this year amid strong demand by stock market investors hungry for exposure to the fast-growing casual dining sector.

Victoria McDonald's blacklisted amid foreign workers controversy

VICTORIA - Three Victoria McDonald's restaurants were put on a federal blacklist Monday for alleged abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, prompting the fast food chain to move quickly to cut ties with the franchise owner. Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney also suggested criminal charges could result against the owner if he lied on the original application to employ temporary foreign workers.

Taco Bell continues teasing McDonald's with 'Old MacDonald' tune in new ad

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Taco Bell is taking another jab at McDonald's in a new ad for its breakfast menu. The fast-food chain will begin airing a TV spot that is set to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and shows a man who has been eating Egg McMuffins since 1984. After trying Taco Bell's breakfast, the man trims his mullet, switches to tighter pants, gets a smartphone and takes down his "Loverboy" poster.

McDonald's giving out free coffee for limited time as fast-food breakfast rivalry heats up

NEW YORK, N.Y. - McDonald's is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies. The world's biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13. McDonald's said that this is the first time it's ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

Taco Bell taps real-life Ronald McDonalds in television ads to promote new breakfast menu

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Taco Bell is name-dropping an unlikely clown to promote its new breakfast menu — Ronald McDonald. The fast-food chain will begin airing ads Thursday that feature everyday men who happen to have the same name as the McDonald's mascot known for his bright red hair and yellow jumpsuit. The ads, by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris, are intended to promote Taco Bell's new breakfast menu, which features novelties like a waffle taco.

Highlights of Ronald McDonald's career as a marketing icon

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Ronald McDonald evidently hasn't lost his magic. Taco Bell is using real-life people named Ronald McDonald in a marketing campaign to promote its new breakfast menu, a nod to the famous clown known for his bright red hair and a yellow jumpsuit. The chain is hoping to go after McDonald's, the No. 1 player in breakfast. Though Ronald has faded to the background in McDonald's own advertising, Taco Bell's appropriation of the name is a testament to the spokesclown's lingering cultural power.

Yum CEO's pay falls 22 per cent to $10 million after company misses performance target

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Yum CEO David Novak saw his pay package drop 22 per cent to $10 million last year as the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut fell short of its performance targets. The drop in pay from $12.8 million the previous year was the result of a lower performance-based bonus, reflecting the troubles that have beset the company's important China division.

Wendy's rolls out mobile payment after Burger King; McDonald's still testing

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Wendy's is rolling out a program that lets customers pay using their smartphones, following a similar plans unveiled by Burger King this week. The Wendy's Co., based in Dublin, Ohio, has been testing the mobile payment option over the past year and said the majority of its roughly 5,800 U.S. locations are now ready to accept the payments. The move reflects a push by fast-food chains to court younger customers by tapping into the attachment they have to their phones.

McDonald's Chief Operating Officer Tim Fenton to retire after 41 years; joined crew as teen

NEW YORK, N.Y. - McDonald's says its chief operating officer is retiring and that it won't refill the position. The world's biggest hamburger chain says Tim Fenton, 56, will retire in October, then act as a special adviser to CEO Don Thompson. Fenton joined the company as a teenager in 1973 as a worker at a restaurant in Utica, N.Y. The company says Fenton will not be replaced. Instead, it's expanding the responsibilities for Chief Financial Officer Pete Bensen and Global Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook.

Quiznos files for Chapter 11 protection as sandwich chain tries to reduce debt by $400M

DENVER - Denver-based Quiznos has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reduce its debt by more than $400 million after the chain lost ground to competitors. The toasted sandwich company said Friday that it voluntarily filed to reorganize to implement a pre-packaged restructuring plan. Quiznos says the move won't affect its customers. The company only owns and operates seven of the nearly 2,100 Quiznos restaurants. The rest are owned and operated by franchisees and aren't part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
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