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Operators cater to winter iced-coffee cravings

Operators cater to winter iced-coffee cravings

More Americans are drinking iced coffee this winter, according to a survey conducted by Dunkin’ Donuts, and restaurateurs are looking to accommodate them by offering a variety of cold, caffeinated drinks.

Dunkin’ Donuts found that 84 percent of iced coffee fans say they’re drinking more of the beverage this winter than last winter. The iced coffee craving comes most often between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when 41 percent of survey respondents said they drink it, the survey found. The next most popular period is 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 37 percent.

Sixty-four percent of the respondents said drinking iced coffee gave them a mental edge over their work colleagues, and 77 percent said it made them feel more productive at work.

Dunkin’ Donuts contracted public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller to conduct the online poll, which surveyed 500 people ages 18 to 49, which is representative of the U.S. population who drink coffee. It was conducted between Dec. 27, 2011, and Jan. 3, 2012.

The vast majority of iced coffee drinkers — 90 percent — drink it with some kind of flavoring, the most popular being French vanilla, at 30 percent, followed by mocha, 27 percent, and caramel, 21 percent.

Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they feel cooler and trendier when holding iced coffee. That response skewed higher — 60 percent — among people ages 18 to 24.

Restaurants across the country have acknowledged their customers’ growing penchant for cold coffee drinks and have responded accordingly.

Federal Donuts, an independent shop in Philadelphia, cold-brews its iced coffee in Japanese brew towers calibrated to extract the right amount of flavor from the beans.

“Nothing goes better with a fresh doughnut than a full-flavored cup of coffee,” co-owner Thomas Henneman said. “We created this smooth, round blend by working with a talented roaster and tasting it alongside our doughnuts to be sure it was perfect.”

Iced coffee goes with Mexican food, too, according to Michael Kamio, founder of Anna’s Taqueria, a six-unit chain based in Boston. Anna’s offers an iced Mexican coffee — a strong brew topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food, which has 16 units in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Boca Raton, Fla., and Washington, D.C., has created a line of after-dinner iced coffee cocktails prepared with a tequila-based liqueur. Selections range from a spiked Mudslide containing tequila liqueur, cream liqueur, chocolate and whipped cream, to a Raspberry Truffle with raspberry and coffee liqueurs, chocolate and a mint sprig.

Numero 28, a small pizza chain in New York, serves iced cappuccinos at all of its locations, but at its fourth restaurant, slated to open in a few weeks, it will have a full liquor license and will offer the Italian Iceberg — chilled espresso, Sambuca, coffee beans, a touch of half and half, and chocolate shavings, served over ice.

Bookstore Bar at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle also offers a coffee-based cocktail, containing equal amounts of espresso, coffee liqueur, peppermint schnapps, and half and half. The cocktail is shaken and served over ice with an espresso bean garnish.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct unit for Anna's Taqueria.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

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The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.


The 'winter (LTO) is coming'

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Provided

Customers around the world may be forced to change their holiday plans because of the pandemic, but one constant that they can always count on is that their favorite fast casual brands are rolling out winter-inspired limited-time offers.

Newk's Eatery is bringing back its taco salad and ihas added three new dishes using the Newcomb Family Recipe Chili, according to a company press release.

The Taco Salad, which debuted last year as an LTO, combines Newcomb Family Recipe Beef Chili, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh romaine, diced tomatoes, avocado, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo, tortilla strip, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for the meal you've been craving.

The Frito Pie ($9.99) is bowl of chili topped with Frito's, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.
The Fully Loaded Newcomb Family Recipe Chili has jalapeños, cilantro, cheddar and sour ream.
Chili Mac and Cheese ($8.49) combines chili and mac, toped with roasted jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.

Yogurtland
Yogurtland is giving its fans another reason to be thankful this holiday season with the relaunch of the Plant-Based Salted Chocolate Soufflé, available through December, according to a company press release.

The soufflé, which has a touch of salt and is 100% vegan, made its first appearance on the January menu and sold out in two weeks.

Yogurtland has more than 280 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Guam, Myanmar, Oman, Indonesia and Thailand.

California Tortilla
California Tortilla, based in Potomac, Maryland, has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40-plus locations, available now through Jan. 17.

California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman said the chain tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman said aligned best with the brand's mission of providing only "fresh, clean food that tastes great."

"We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards," he said in a company press release. "Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don't taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating."

California Tortilla's tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman said even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

"We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it's going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests," he said.

Jamba
Jamba has crated two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler. Available for a limited-time only, the offerings are inspired by the new DreamWorks Animation feature film, "The Croods: A New Age," coming to theaters Nov. 25.

Jamba has created two kids smoothies that include a full serving of fruits or vegetables: Sash's Splash and Croodaceous Cooler.

"Parents everywhere will agree that it can be hard to get kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables," Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD, nutrition expert and strategic adviser, said in a company press release. "Our two newest kids' menu items will not only help children get their daily fruits and vegetables, but both are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help support immunity."

Sash's Splash Smoothie has one serving of fruit from orange, mango, pineapple and dragon fruit, while Croodaceous Cooler has a half serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables. The bold orange and purple smoothies are served in a limited-time The Croods: A New Age cup.

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys, a Southern California burger brand with about 100 locations, has introduced a duo of fried chicken sandwiches — The Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich — at all locations in California and Nevada.

"Our guests have been asking us to add fried chicken sandwiches to our menu," Larry Rusinko, vice president and chief marketing officer for Farmer Boys, said in a company press release. "After years of extensive R&D, and a little fowl play, we feel confident that we got both sandwiches just right.

Moe's Southwest Grill
Moe's Southwest Grill is bringing back its Chili Con Queso after a three-year hiatus. Starting at $3.99, it has white gold queso with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapenos, according to a company press release.

It's available through Dec. 31.

Moe's, owned by Focus Brands, is based in Atlanta.

Sajj Mediterranean
Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations. Chef-curated and designed to share, each is between $7 and $9 and available for pickup or delivery via the chain's website or app.

Sajj Mediterranean has launched a shareable Mezze Menu at all its Bay-area locations.

  • Pita Tacos: Three tacos, served with fries and cilantro mint chutney and hot peri peri sauces on the side. Mix and match falafel, chicken shawarma or steak shawarma
  • Hummus Plate: Hummus and pita topped with chicken shawarma, steak shawarma, eggplant ragout, pomegranate chicken, sumac cauliflower or garbanzo beans
  • Classic Mediterranean Salads: Choose from fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek, fava bean or rocca salads
  • Appetizer Bites: Mediterranean style appetizers include Za'atar pies, meat kibbeh, spinach pies, cheese pies, meat pies and falafel

"Our shareable Mezze Menu is inspired by our Mediterranean roots where families and friends come together to eat," founder and CEO Zaid Ayoub said in a company press release. "The Mezze options allow for our guests to try curated, pre-designed dishes in new formats but with the fresh Mediterranean flavors that they know and love."

SAJJ Mediterranean operates nine restaurants and two food trucks throughout California.

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe has created an appetizer option for holiday gatherings. Taziki's Appetizer Bundle includes one pint each of the following:

  • Taziki's Hummus: a puree of chickpeas, tahini, touch of cumin and lemon juice.
  • Taziki Dip: a blended Greek yogurt with fresh cucumber, dill and a hint of lemon.
  • Taziki's Spicy Pimento Cheese: a mix of hand-grated sharp cheddar, mayo, diced red peppers and a hint of Tabasco.
  • Taziki's Whipped Feta: incorporates scratch-made feta with a honey drizzle and parsley garnish.

The gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly options also come with 20 carrot sticks, 20 celery sticks, 20 sliced pieces of fresh cucumber and 60 baked pita chips.

This bundle will be available through Dec. 31 for $39.99.

Taziki's has over 90 restaurant locations, spanning 18 states. Development plans include building the brand in existing markets, as well as entering new areas across the country by 2023.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee, a privately held drive-thru coffee company headquartered in Grants Pass, Oregon, with more than 400 locations, has added the Winter Glow Seasonal Blend to its menu. The bagged coffee, which is a blend of beans from Colombia and El Salvador that is lightly roasted for a smooth taste, is the company's first seasonal roast in its nearly 30 years in business.

Dutch Bros Coffee has released its holiday beverage lineup, the including Sugar Cookie Breve, SnowBerry Rebel and Candy Cane Cold Brew.

The brand has also released its holiday beverage lineup, including:

  • Sugar Cookie Breve, which has Almond Roca, white chocolate, vanilla whipped cream and raw sugar sprinkles.
  • SnowBerry Rebel, featuring blackberry syrup, Dutch Bros' signature Soft Top Sweet Cream and blue snow sprinkles.
  • Candy Cane Cold Brew, a peppermint mocha with Soft Top, chocolate drizzle and candy cane sprinkles.

Peet's Coffee

Peet's Coffee has unveiled its 2020 holiday offerings that invoke notions of wintery snowcap mountains, including the Snowcap Mint Matcha Latte, an iced mint matcha latte topped with a lightly sweet snowcap, as well as the Snowcap Peppermint Cold Brew, which adds a subtle sweetness to the bold, juicy peppermint Baridi cold brew, according to a company press release.

Returning to the holiday menu are:

  • Holiday Spice Latte (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso, steamed milk and a mixture of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg.
  • Peppermint Mocha (Iced or Hot): Hand-pulled espresso infused with house-made chocolate sauce and the flavor of peppermint, topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Mocha (Iced or Hot): As part of Peet's Members Only Menu, this feature is only available to those who have the Peet's app and are part of the Peetnik Rewards program. Hand-pulled espresso and freshly steamed milk blended with decadent chocolate, unsweetened Dutch cocoa, and citrus topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa.
  • 2020 Holiday Blend: A Celebration of the Season brings together two Guatemalan coffees, a washed and natural Ethiopian, and a spice-laden Sumatra Available now until supplies last, Peet's Holiday Blend can be purchased at participating Peet's coffee-bar locations and online at www.peets.com, as well as grocery stores nationwide.

Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, California.

Rubio's Coastal Grill

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo

Rubio's is kicking off the holiday season with the return of Langostino Lobster inspired by Puerto Nuevo, featuring wild-caught and certified sustainable Langostino Lobster. Drizzled in warm garlic herb butter, this year's dishes include the Puerto Nuevo Burrito, the Langostino Lobster Bowl and a Puerto Nuevo two taco plate that includes a Langostino Lobster Taco and The Original Fish Taco, according to a company press release.

In addition, Rubio's has launched virtual fundraisers, making it easier to support organizations that need extra help. Guests may place orders online, in the app or in restaurants to support their community organizations.

To celebrate the virtual fundraiser launch, Rubio's increased their donation amount from 20% to 30% of all fundraiser sales going back to the organization.

Corner Bakery
Corner Bakery is getting festive with the launch of seasonal bundles and menu items, according to a company press release. It offers bar bite trays, cookie bite trays and half-dozen baby bundt trays. Other sweet treats, like cinnamon crème cakes, raisin pecan sweet crisps and brownie bites.

  • Bananas Foster Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes, sliced banana, caramel, whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Chicken Rosa Pasta: Grilled chicken, Parmesan, spinach, oven-roasted tomato, cavatappi pasta, pesto, tomato cream sauce and toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Candied Pecan Baby Bundt Cakes Maple pecan pumpkin or caramel pecan chocolate flavors.
  • White Chocolate Mint Cold Brew and White Chocolate Mint Latte.

Corner Bakery Cafe has locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
Plano, Texas-based Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes is offering the Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Peppermint shakes available through Dec. 31.

"This has been a rough year, which is why we feel it's so important to bring fun and comforting tastes of the holidays to Guests," Mooyah VP of Brand Natalie Anderson Liu said in a company press release. "We want these shakes to make the holidays a little sweeter for our Guests, and to bring incremental sales and traffic for our Franchise Partners."

The Pumpkin Pie Shake blends vanilla ice cream with pumpkin spice flavors and graham cracker pieces, topped with a graham cracker garnish to recreate the perfect pie experience. The White Chocolate Peppermint Shake mixes crushed peppermint pieces with vanilla ice cream, Monin's White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkle of an additional peppermint garnish.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has not only launched its holiday menu but is making global unity a key focus with the launch of holiday-themed hot beverage cups decorated with hanging ornaments inspired by shapes and patterns from around the world, such as the lotus flower, the Parol star and the Fanous lantern. When brought together, the individual pieces that each have a deeper meaning of goodwill, honor the diversity of the world, Christy Smith, marketing director, said in a company press release.

"Now more than ever, the world needs unity and there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with that sentiment," she said. "Coffee and tea are more than just drinks they represent moments of commonality that bring people together around the globe. We are thrilled to offer our guests the indulgent taste of the holidays and reasons to celebrate this season together."

Holiday drink menu items include:

  • Cookie Butter Latte and Ice Blended drink: espresso combined with spice and brown sugar cookie notes to create the perfect sweet and spicy treat for the holidays.
  • Peppermint Mocha Latte & Ice Blended drink: a blend of chocolate and peppermint.
  • Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew Latte: dark chocolate and peppermint crafted together for a twist on classic cold brew.
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: a coffee-free hot chocolate.
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa and Ice Blended drink: Sweet cream blended with cocoa for a flavor reminiscent of a red velvet cupcake.
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte: a blend of black tea, rooibos, sweet spices and vanilla.

Holiday food menu items include:

  • Orange Cranberry Muffin: a muffin with light icing and bits of orange.
  • S'mores Bar: a layered confection of graham cracker, thick chocolate and marshmallow.
  • Holiday Cookies: choose from Gingerbread Doll, Gingerbread House or frosted Sugar Cookie.

The holiday beverages and baked goods are available at participating store locations now through Janu.5, 2021. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has 1,074 retail locations across the globe.

Veggie Grill is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday.

Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill, which has nearly 40 locations, is offering a plant-based version of Thanksgiving dinner, which customers may pre-order online and pick up on the holiday, according to a company press release.

The Thanksgiving Pot Pie Feast, which costs $69.95 and feeds four, includes:

  • Individual "turkey" and mushroom pot pies.
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes & Gravy.
  • Glazed Rainbow Carrots.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Balsamic Onions, and Feta Cheese.
  • Mini sharable pumpkin pies are available for an added cost.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is hoping to cater thousands of Thanksgiving dinners this year. Customers may order individualized holiday box lunches containing slow-smoked carved turkey sandwiches, sides of cornbread dressing, bags of chips and cookies along with a to-go sauce of the guests' choice. The family owned restaurant brand is also offering a deluxe version of its holiday boxlunch option that includes an additional fan-favorite holiday side of southern-style green beans, according to a company press release.

For mid-size gatherings of eight to 12, Dickey's is offering a ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box which comes with sliced turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen buttery rolls.

Available for pickup and delivery throughout the holiday season from participating Dickey's locations, guests can enjoy these heat-and-eat options:

  • The Complete Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy, baked potato casserole, green beans with bacon and a dozen rolls.
  • The Dinner Feast: choose from smoked turkey, prime rib, Cajun-fried turkey or spiral ham along with cornbread dressing, gravy and 12 rolls.
  • À La Carte Menu: order any of Dickey's slow-smoked holiday meats of sides individually.

Dickey's operates over 500 locations in 44 states and the UAE.

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler is VP of Editorial for Networld Media Group and senior editor of FastCasual.com. She has been covering the restaurant industry since 2012. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine, among many others.

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