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: McDonald’s, Shake Shack among the restaurant chains kicking off 2021 with new menu additions

Chipotle's Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice will be available for a limited time. Read More...

Restaurant chains are kicking off the new year with menu announcements, including a couple of big names launching items that will keep the chicken sandwich war going into 2021.

McDonald’s Corp.’s MCD, -0.24% new Crispy Chicken Sandwich will debut on February 24. There will also be a spicy version, and a deluxe version, shown at left, topped with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

Other chicken items that have appeared or are currently offered at McDonald’s include Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken Biscuit.

Shake Shack Inc. SHAK, +3.06% is adding a Korean-Style Fried Chicken sandwich for a limited time. The sandwich is made with a sweet-and-spicy gochujang glaze and a kimchi slaw. Gochujang is a popular Korean ingredient that Shake Shack is preparing with red chili peppers and fermented soybeans.

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Gochujang will also be included in the mayo sauce that comes with the limited-time Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites and Korean Gochujang Fries.

Kimchi, another popular Korean ingredient, is typically made with Napa cabbage, red pepper, garlic and scallions. Shake Shack turned to a Portland, Ore.-based family-owned company, Choi’s Kimchi Co., for its kimchi.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG, -0.44% is tapping into the traditional January turn toward healthier eating habits with the limited-time introduction of its cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, which will be available in the U.S. and Canada.

The fast-casual chain notes that the item is compliant with diets like Paleo and Keto. The item will cost an additional $2.

Cilantro-lime cauliflower rice went through Chipotle’s multi-stage process for introducing something new to the menu, with the item testing in Denver and across Wisconsin before being more widely offered.

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Off the menu, Del Taco Restaurants Inc. TACO, +5.66% announced a new store design on Wednesday that promises lower investment costs, more transparency into food preparation and the flexibility to choose a drive-thru-only model.

Del Taco joins other restaurant companies, including Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc.’s QSR, +2.63% and McDonald’s, that have revamped stores to add technology, drive thru lanes and other convenient service options.

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