October 24th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Ohio fast food employee is fired after fleeing robber

Mary Archer had been held up twice before at the Arby’s restaurant in Fairborn, Ohio, where she was the manager on duty, her daughter said. She came away unscathed both times.

But after the third robbery Friday, when a man with a knife entered the store and demanded the assistant manager turn over the restaurant’s money, her boss fired her.

“I just never thought that this would happen to me, especially since my life was at stake,” she told CNN affiliate WHIO.

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Filed under: Crime • Fast Food • Jobs • Ohio • U.S.
July 27th, 2012
06:14 PM ET

How the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy has evolved

A growing chorus of politicians has joined a nearly two-week uproar and counter-uproar over the marriage views of Chick-fil-A’s president.

At least four Democratic officials in three major northern U.S. cities spoke against the views of Dan Cathy, who recently said his company backs traditional marriage, as opposed to same-sex marriage. Some of those politicos essentially told the Atlanta-based restaurant chain not to try to expand in their cities.

Two former GOP presidential candidates, meanwhile, have encouraged people to show their support for Chick-fil-A by buying food there this coming Wednesday, which one of them has dubbed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

The controversy took flight in mid-July after Cathy gave an interview to the Biblical Recorder, on online journal for Baptists in North Carolina. In the July 2 story - picked up by the Baptist Press on July 16 - Cathy affirmed that his company backs the traditional family unit.

“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” he added.

The fast-food chicken restaurant chain has long been known to espouse Christian values, and does not operate on Sundays so that employees can be free to attend church if they choose.

Proponents of same-sex marriage spread Cathy’s comments, eventually creating a firestorm of criticism on social media, including assertions that his comments and position were bigoted and hateful.

“The Office” star Ed Helms joined in, saying he was no longer a fan of the fast-food giant.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame," he tweeted July 18. "Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan."

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Filed under: Billy Graham • Christian • Fast Food • Food • Religion • Same-sex marriage
July 24th, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Henson, Huckabee take sides in Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy

[Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET] The comments about same-sex marriage made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy a week ago continue to generate controversy this week, with politicians and fantasy creatures, well at least their handlers, weighing in.

"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

"We are very much supportive of the family the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business," Cathy was quoted as saying.

That stance didn't go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served up in Chick-fil-A's meals for kids. Jim Henson Co. is named after the creator of the Muppets, though the company transferred the Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

"Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)," the Henson Co.'s posting said.

The posting, which is dated Friday, had drawn more than 10,000 likes and 2,000 comments as of Tuesday morning.

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Filed under: Fast Food • Gay and lesbian • Religion • Showbiz
Gotta Watch: Fast food fondlers
Some Burger King employees lost their jobs over this photo that went viral.
July 19th, 2012
06:52 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Fast food fondlers

Fast food service may not be considered “fine dining” but customers who frequent such establishments expect a certain level of sanitation. Unfortunately, in some cases that trust is misplaced.  Check out these videos of fast food workers with less than healthy manners.  Do their punishments fit their crimes?

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Fast food workers fired over food safety

Affiliate WKYC reports on the reaction to a viral photo of a Burger King employee stomping on store lettuce.

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2009: Domino's food tampering video

In 2009, two Domino's employees were arrested for filming as they allegedly tampering with food. Affiliate WCNC reports.

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2008: Employees bathe in store sink

In 2008, KFC fired multiple employees who photographed themselves bathing in the store's sink. Affiliate KOVR reports.

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Filed under: California • Fast Food • Food • Gotta Watch • North Carolina • Ohio • U.S.
Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage
How do you feel about Chick-fil-A and its president's views on same-sex marriage? Share your comments below.
July 19th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Guilty as charged" was the response from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage. There was a social-media uproar about Cathy's statements, but many of CNN.com's readers expressed support for his right to say and believe what he wants.

Chick-fil-A's stance on same-sex marriage causing a social storm

Omekongo Dibinga, an iReporter from Washington, was one of those voices. He says the Chick-fil-A exec "did nothing wrong."

"We shouldn't be surprised that an organization that sticks to its Christian principles would have issues with gay marriage," Dibinga says, adding, "We can't get into this mentality of thinking that everybody who is against gay marriage is homophobic in some way, shape or form."

A lot of our readers had similar things to say.

Dan: "I'm gay. I don't care. If I ceased buying products from companies that did things I didn't like, then I'd be Amish. I don't make political choices when I eat out (though, for the record, I actually don't like CFA's food or any fast food for that matter). I go out to eat to fill my belly."

But a few readers were not happy with Chick-fil-A. FULL POST

Mass. mayor suggests ban on large drinks, free refills
June 20th, 2012
01:45 PM ET

Mass. mayor suggests ban on large drinks, free refills

A Massachusetts mayor is taking inspiration from a controversial New York City proposal to ban large, sugary beverages and might even want to take it a step further.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis unveiled a proposal that would outlaw large-size sodas and other sugary drinks in area restaurants to the City Council on Monday.

She’s also suggesting that city officials consider banning free refills of sugary beverages, which would be a step beyond New York City’s plan.

“Our environment is full of way too many temptations,” Davis said. “This is one temptation that isn’t really necessary.”

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Filed under: Fast Food • Food • Health • Massachusetts
May 31st, 2012
07:35 AM ET

New York mayor wants big sugary drinks banned

If New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way, you won't be gulping down any 44-ounce Cokes at any of the Big Apple's eateries after March 2013.

Citing what he says is the contribution sugary beverages make to obesity in the U.S., Bloomberg says the buck, and the big Dr. Pepper, stops with him.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times.

Is drinking soda really that bad for you? | What is high fructose corn syrup?

His proposal would ban any the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters or even street carts, according to reports from New York.

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Filed under: Fast Food • Food • New York
November 19th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

McDonald's, Target drop egg supplier after animal cruelty report

McDonald's and Target dropped an egg supplier this week after an activist group released disturbing video showing what it says shows animal cruelty at three of the company's barns.

The undercover video, released by Mercy for Animals, was allegedly shot between May and August at facilities run by Sparboe Farms in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota. It shows hens crammed in crowded cages, workers burning beaks and one, trying to shove a bird inside the pocket of a co-worker, apparently for fun. Another worker presses his thumb against the back of a chick's neck until it breaks.

"Regarding the undercover videos, the behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald's wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility - along with our customers' trust - very seriously. It's important to note that the most alarming actions on video did not occur at Sparboe's Vincent, Iowa, facility that supplies McDonald's. Nonetheless, our extremely high standards for our suppliers prohibit this conduct," McDonald's said in a statement, announcing its decision to cut ties with Sparboe Farms.

Target similarly said it was dropping Sparboe Farms, which describes itself as the fifth-largest shell egg producer and marketer in the United States.

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Filed under: Animals • Colorado • Fast Food • Food • Iowa • Minnesota
On the Radar: McDonald's hiring, more strong storms, Sheen's lawsuit
McDonald's has openings for 50,000 jobs in the U.S.
April 19th, 2011
06:55 AM ET

On the Radar: McDonald's hiring, more strong storms, Sheen's lawsuit

50,000 jobs: McDonald's is looking to hire as many as 50,000 people today as part of its National Hiring Day promotion.

Jobs are available at both the corporate and restaurant levels. Job-seekers can go to the company's website or check at local franchises to find positions.

"I'm hopeful to bring in at least a dozen [new employees] if not more," said Robert Hughes, owner of four McDonald's franchises in eastern Pennsylvania, told CNN affiliate WFMZ. "Sales across the country and then regionally are doing so well that we have that need to be hiring more people."

In the Houston, Texas, area, McDonald's is looking to add 1,500 employees, CNN affiliate KHOU reports.

"At McDonalds, we believe our employees do incredible things. If you have a desire for a career, and a passion for quality, you should see what McDonald’s offers," Kimberly Kelley Elizondo, a McDonald’s owner-operator in the Houston area told KHOU.

The burger chain has more than 32,000 restaurants and 1.7 million employees worldwide.

Severe weather: Another round of severe storms on Tuesday could strike Oklahoma, one of the states hit by a  wave of violent weather last week, forecasters say.

CNN's Weather Center in Atlanta described the risk of severe weather as moderate. This time the forecast for severe weather is focused on the Midwest instead of the South, where 45 people perished in a swath of extreme storms, including tornadoes, last week.

The areas facing a moderate risk of tornadoes and high winds on Tuesday extends from the Midwest to the Ohio River Valley.  Also included are the cities of Tulsa, St. Louis and Indianapolis.

The threat of heavy storms is predicted to diminish in those areas on Wednesday morning, but the Northeast could experience isolated outbreaks of severe storms later in the day.

Sheen lawsuit: Charlie Sheen's $100 million lawsuit against his former employer is scheduled to come to a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday.

But for those looking for the headline-grabbing actor, Sheen is expected to miss the hearing.  His "Violent Torpedo of Truth" tour has him in Washington D.C. Tuesday night.

The lawsuit was filed in March and names Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre, the creator of "Two and a Half Men." Sheen is seeking punitive damages and recovery of unpaid wages in the lawsuit that alleges intentional interference with contractual relations and breach of contract, among other contentions.

In addition to Sheen, 9th Step Productions - a corporation formed by Sheen to contract out his acting services on the series - also is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

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Filed under: Charlie Sheen • Economy • Fast Food • Jobs • Labor • Showbiz • Weather
Gotta Watch: Burger brawls, dumb robber; monkey waiters
What started as a small fast food order turns into a full out fight.
March 10th, 2011
11:04 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Burger brawls, dumb robber; monkey waiters

Burger brawl – Imagine how much money we'd save on paying for law enforcement if there weren't so many silly crimes? But then we wouldn't have video like this to show you. Here, a disgruntled customer at Burger King lunges at an employee over a sandwich costing $1.06.

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Filed under: Animals • Crime • Fast Food • Food • Gotta Watch
Foodtubes would transport goodies underground, inventor says
December 6th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Foodtubes would transport goodies underground, inventor says

If a UK inventor has his way, food, that most basic of staples, will one day be zipped from the farm to the supermarket like data over the internet.

When you calculate fuel costs and the release of harmful truck emissions, food transportation, over interstate highways and even railroads, wastes time and money, according to Noel Hodson, inventor and coordinator of the Foodtubes Project.

The Foodtubes would transport encapsulated food to “terminals” at specific stops  supermarkets, mom and pop stores, etc. along an underground circuit (pictured above).

The cycle would operate on a “goods in, waste out” principle, Hodson said in a phone interview Monday with CNN.

“Once it is empty, the capsule would be filled with trash and garbage and sent back for recycling,” Hodson said. “That's why we use the term 'circuit'. The address is like an internet package, and they're tracked by software” for quality control.

“And it would be fed by green electricity,” Hodson said. “That’s my final vision.”

The technology behind the capsule propulsion would borrow heavily from the roller coaster industry, Hodson said.

Hodson estimates selling a food-filled capsule for about $5 (free for empty capsules), adding that the venture would be extremely attractive to food service manufacturers and stores.

The pipelines could be put under major urban areas “without digging up the entire city,” Hodson said. The website Ars Technica has an artist's rendering of a proposed Foodtubes station in London.

“It's most profitable if it's used in a dense, urban environment. It would be quite possible to put a circuit about 100 miles –  probably about 400 entrances and exits on it. And that would serve about 130,000 households, going to the shops that those households use,” Hodson said.

The venture would be financed by a private-public partnership, Hodson said. He said the Foodtubes Project has early interest from the town of Croydon, England, south of London.

The plan has the potential to revamp the entire food service industry, Hodson said.

But would the railroad companies and trucking industry play nice?

“I’ve hired bodyguards,” Hodson said in jest.

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Filed under: Energy • Environment • Fast Food • Food
November 19th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Fast food f-bombs, driverless VW

Would you like an f-bomb with that? - A Sacramento, California, man was not amused when the receipt for his meal said f*** you ... twice. The man said he didn’t do anything to provoke the employees. We're thinking Cee Lo Green might have been in the back making the fries.

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Filed under: Business • California • Fast Food • Gotta Watch • Technology