Tough Times Push Chains to Try New Fare
McDonald's classy coffee, grilled KFC widen menus
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 27, 2009 10:00 AM CDT
McDonald's in Central Ohio Launches New McCafe Product with this Steamy Billboard!   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – Desperate times are driving chain restaurants to desperate measures—straying from their bread-and-butter dishes and diversifying the menu. KFC now sells grilled chicken, Domino’s offers subs, and McDonald’s dips into the world of espresso coffee, USA Today reports. “This is a defining moment for the industry," says a National Restaurant Association analyst. "The financial crisis has brought with it a redefining of boundaries."

“When you're trying to grow a category, you need to bring in innovations,” notes Domino’s marketing head. Variety can cancel the “veto vote”—the guy who refuses a group trip to a restaurant because he doesn’t like their limited offerings. Thus Pizza Hut is pushing pasta; rotisserie-happy Boston Market is selling crispy chicken; and roast-beef purist Arby’s is making a burger-like sandwich.