We Are One Step Closer To Starbucks On-Demand Delivery

Readers of a certain age will remember the Starbucks scene in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, a 38-second diatribe on the “defining sense of self” one gets from ordering from an impossible array of short-tall-dark-caf-decaf, etc. For a few buckaroos, you gain a semblance of decision-making ownership with that tall decaf cappuccino. Ah, consumerism.

If only the lines were shorter, did you say?

Seems like someone heard you. Earlier this week, the on-demand, S.F.-based delivery service Postmates announced a collaboration with Starbucks to enable “customers to order their favorite Starbucks products and have it delivered to them without leaving their home or office.” Yes, soon, you’ll be able to order that grande soy latte without idly waiting in line, pretending to diligently check your work email when you’re actually stalking the ex-boyfriend on Instagram.

Beginning later this year, customers in Seattle (with other cities to follow) can place their order through the Starbucks mobile app using the expanded “Order Ahead” feature; the order is then distributed to a nearby café for Postmates to pick up and deliver right to your door. Think of all those exploited interns who are cheering right now.

While takeout/delivery service is nothing new, it is new for the coffee market. And, in an age when we’re prizing specialty coffee roasters like Blue Bottle or Stumptown, it gives the habitual, if slightly humdrum, mainstay an e-commerce edge over younger competition. It also helps ease the recent blunder that was the Starbucks “Race Together” initiative.

This news is making us pretty happy, but is it weird to say that we’ll miss all the hilarious misspelled names?

Are You Ready For Dunkin’ Donuts’ New Bacon Donut?

Dunkin’ Donuts loves you…and bacon. And that’s why they are rewarding our loyalty with their new “Deluxe Bacon Donut”. Shirley Leung, Business Columnist and Associate Editor at The Boston Globe, tweeted delicious proof of the glazed donuts decorated with strips of bacon. It’s currently being consumer tested in participating shops in Providence Mass.

This isn’t the first time Dunkin’ Donuts has tested bacon-lover food in Massachusetts. Remember when we first heard about the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich that later made it nationwide? Looks like DD understands America’s need to bacon everything.

Starbucks Will Offer Cold-Brew Coffee, In Limited Quantities

Dedicated iced coffee drinkers and dedicated snobs will tell you that the flavor of cold-brewed coffee is superior to coffee that has been brewed the regular way and cooled down. You’ll soon be able to try Starbucks’ version of the drink in certain regions of the country, but only if you get there early enough.

Because Starbucks didn’t want to fill up its freezers with coffee ice cubes to be combined with hot milk, they’ve put together a special cold-brewing blend of beans that will chill for 20 hours before being served. This long prep time means that each store that serves cold-brewed coffee will only have one batch per day, enough to make about 40 “grande” cups of the beverage.

Cold-brewed coffee is known for being less bitter, but also with a stronger flavor and more caffeine. That makes sense, given the 20 hours of brewing. Some people prefer to dilute it with water. However, Starbucks told media outlets that their blend will only have a few milligrams more caffeine than their typical iced brewed coffee.

Hooters Will Serve Bacon-Wrapped Wings During March Madness

To attract millennials, Hooters is taking a couple of points from Buffalo Wild Wings’ playbook.

Much like the hugely successful wing chain, Hooters will offer a limited-time menu during the NCAA tournament.

Items on Hooters’ promotional menu include bacon-wrapped chicken wings and a chili-cheese dog called “Porky’s revenge,” according to Foodbeast.

Hooters also expanded its wing menu in recent years to include more sauce flavors and stopped using frozen wings.

Offering limited-time menu items and wings has been a successful strategy for Buffalo Wild Wings.

The brand releases new chicken wing sauces 7 times a year in flavors like Korean BBQ and Chipotle Cherry Sting. Many of the special flavors have sold out.

Hooters had its heyday two decades ago, but has struggled to attract young customers.

The brand is also expanding overseas.

The so-called “breastaurant” is planning to open more than 30 restaurants in Southeast Asia over the next six years, executives announced in a release.

Hooters already has a presence in Thailand, and is looking to expand into Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.

The company, which is known for scantily clad waitresses, has had flat sales in recent years.

Part of Hooters’ problem is an overall slump in the casual-dining sector as consumers turn to faster options like Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Five Guys.

But the brand has also dealt with competition from similar chains.

Tilted Kilt has more than 100 locations, with plans to open more, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Hooters has been closing restaurants.

In addition to Tilted Kilt, Hooters is also facing competition from other “breastaurant” rivals such as Twin Peaks, Ker’s Winghouse, and Brick House Tavern + Tap.

Twin Peaks’ sales increased 68% to $165 million in 2013 over the previous year, as the chain nearly doubled its locations, according to Technomic. Sales at each of the latter two chains, which are the fourth- and fifth-largest breastaurants by sales, increased by 11% over the same time period.

These rival brands have succeeded by attracting a younger crowd and offering a broader menu than Hooters.

Where Does Tampa/St. Pete Rank on the ‘Unexpected Brewery Cities’ List?

Portland, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, and Milwaukee might be the U.S.’s most widely acknowledged beer cities, but don’t discount the underdogs. Here are five unexpected brewery towns worth rooting for.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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With two dozen breweries in this southwestern hub of just more than 500,000 residents, Albuquerque is set to become a heavy hitter on the craft scene. In 2011, the Duke City’s La Cumbre Brewing Company took home top honors from the Great American Brew Festival for its Elevated IPA. New Mexico is high on hops, with breweries facing off each summer in the state’s IPA Challenge. Other acclaimed taprooms include Marble Brewery and Tractor Brewing.

Anchorage, Alaska

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The glasses are always frosted at the eight great breweries in this chilly state’s metropolis. Glacier Brewhouse boasts the seasonal Big Woody, a Great American Beer Festival (GABF) gold-medal barleywine; fruity IPAs and oak-aged Imperial Blondes are also on the menu there. You’ll find Midnight Sun Brewing Co.’s craft creations on tap in top bars throughout Alaska—in particular, the 20-inch Oosik Amber Ale, a German-style altbier named after a prominent protuberance of the male walrus.

Asheville, North Carolina

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This southern town is too genteel to call attention to its accolades, which include being named 2010 BeerCity USA by Examiner.com readers. Asheville’s brewery acclaim began in 1994, with the ascent of the Highland Brewing Company, whose operation was built almost entirely from retrofitted dairy equipment. Highland’s Black Mocha Stout has taken home awards from the GABF and the World Beer Cup. For a neighborhood brewery, grab a barstool at Wedge Brewing in the River Arts District.

Burlington, Vermont

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Vermont might be a small state, but with the highest number of breweries per capita, it’s marinating in stouts and ales. Burlington’s granddaddy establishment, Vermont Pub & Brewery, has three award-winners on tap: the Karlswalde Russian Imperial Stout, known for its warm finish; the Forbidden Fruit, blended with raspberries; and the caramel Burly Irish Ale. Magic Hat Brewing Company, one of the largest microbreweries in the U.S., is also based in Burlington.

Tampa/St. Pete, Florida

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Counting 24 breweries in its greater metropolitan area, this burg is Florida’s beertopia. Dunedin Brewery is the state’s oldest continuously operated brewery. It has a stable of solid taps, as well as seasonal hits such as Leonard Croon’s Old Mean Stout. Cigar City Brewing crafts a variety of ales perfect for sipping in the Florida heat, including the Jai Alai and Humidor Series IPAs. Saint Somewhere Brewing makes traditional Belgian-style ales, adding local ingredients such as Palmetto berries and hibiscus flowers.