It's innovation time in the fast-food industry, and you can blame that on Countrywide Financial.
Countrywide sold all those mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and the subsequent foreclosures triggered the recession, but it was great for McDonald's.
During recessions, when people are economizing, they tend to shift their dining out away from nice sit-down restaurants in favor of low-cost fast-food. The only problem is, recessions eventually end, and then people start going to fine-dining places again. Sales at the drive-up, dry up - only a little, mind you - but even a one or two percent decline puts pressure on fast-food chains to DO something.
McDonald's, Burger King and other chains have been trying all kinds of ideas. McDonald's is about experiment with serving breakfast all day in San Diego. Dunkin' Donuts is looking at improving its image by using only cage-free eggs.
You've seen new sandwiches, upgraded coffee, extended hours, chicken fries, all to try to keep the momentum from the recession.
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