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Chick-fil-A makes 5,900 meals for kids who receive free, reduced school lunch

Chick-fil-A makes 5,900 meals for kids who receive free, reduced school lunch

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- The owners of 60 metro Atlanta Chick-fil-A restaurants provided 5,900 lunches Wednesday to children in seven counties who typically receive free and reduced lunches at school, reports Marietta Daily Journal.

The food made its way to children through MUST Ministries, whose summer lunch program has been around for 19 years. Program volunteers meet at churches in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, Gwinnett, north Fulton, Paulding and Pickens counties five days a week to make, pack and deliver lunches to nearly 6,000 children across eight counties for 10 weeks during the summer.

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

(WXIA) -- Diners at two metro Atlanta-based restaurant chains had a hand in making wishes come true for five very special children.

Throughout March and April, J. Christopher's and Reveille Café customers donated more than $47,000 to the Make-a-Wish organizations in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. Make-a-Wish grants surprises to children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

Thanks to the diners' generosity, Make-a-Wish was able to send five kids on trips of a lifetime:

Andrea, age 3
Hematologic (blood) disorder
Andrea got to go to Disney World and meet her idols -- Mickey and Minnie; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; Pluto and Goofy.

Bryce, age 4
Wilms' tumor (kidney cancer)
Bryce got to fly on a plane to Disney World, ride the rides and meet Mickey Mouse.

Elijah, age 8
Respiratory condition
Elijah took an "absolutely awesome" trip to Disney World.

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

(WXIA) -- Several Southern states were slammed by severe weather earlier this week, including Lincoln County, Tenn., which experienced a devastating tornado.

Those who want to contribute to the community's rebuilding fund can now do so, simply by eating at Chili's.

On Sunday, May 4, more than 60 Chili's restaurants in Georgia and Tennessee will contribute 10 percent of the day's earnings to the Lincoln County Disaster Relief Fund.

Chili's diners can also make monetary donations by adding extra money to their check totals.

Visit chilis.com to find your nearest Chili's.

Zaxby's named America's most craveable chain

Zaxby's named America's most craveable chain

(WXIA) -- Zaxby's has been named America's "Most Craveable Fast Casual" restaurant for the second year in a row.

The Athens-based chicken chain received the honor from Technomic, a market research firm that focuses on the restaurant industry.

Technomic measures more than 60 elements of a guest's experience to determine the rankings. Zaxby's craveability can be attributed to its popular Chicken Fingerz and dipping sauces, especially the signautre Zax Sauce.

"We are continuously looking for new experiences and flavors to provide our guests, but it's also exciting for us to know that some of our very first menu items are still fan favorites to this day," Zaxby's CEO and co-founder Zach McLeory said. "We're delighted to know our guests have ranked us the most craveable for a second year, and will endlessly strive to provide them with exceptional flavors they can't get anywhere else."

Pizza Hut offering 50% off online orders

Pizza Hut offering 50% off online orders

(WXIA) -- Twenty years ago, Pizza Hut delivered its first-ever pizza to be ordered over the Internet.

Now, the pizza chain is celebrating this milestone by offering a half-off online deal for customers.

Medium and large Pizza Hut pizzas will be 50 percent off when ordered online now through Jan. 10.

Pizza Hut has also launched Hut Lovers, a loyalty program that provides members with exclusive deals.

A large pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese Pizza Hut pizza was the first physical good ever purchased online, according to Pizza Hut chief marketing officer Carrie Walsh.

"We want to celebrate the fact that before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the Internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza," Walsh said in a statement. "We're doing so by giving back to our customers who have helped us lead the way with digital innovations over the last 20 years."

Eat at Chili's to help Toys for Tots

Eat at Chili's to help Toys for Tots

(WXIA) -- 'Tis the season to give, and Chili's Grill & Bar is allowing customers to do just that.

On Monday, Dec. 9, Chili's diners can make a donation to Marine Toys for Tots by eating at one of the restaurant chain's many locations.

Simply mention the Toys for Tots fundraiser to a Chili's server for 10 percent of the check to be given to the organization.

Learn more and find your nearest Chili's at chilis.com.