Make Those Green Eggs Over Easy

How do you like your green eggs... hard boiled, over easy, or perhaps just the conventional sunny side up with a side of ham? Restaurant companies are scrambling for customers these days, heating up the menu wars with a wild array of specials sure to please your palate. Here's a few of the more interesting recent offerings that caught my eye.

  • Dr. Seuss is making its debut at IHOP (NYSE: IHOP  ) with a green eggs and ham breakfast plate. Turning the eggs green by mixing in some spinach is certainly not a combination I crave, although the "Who Cakes" covered with chocolate chips and a pink lollipop might be worth a try. The limited-time offerings are timed to break with the release of a new Dr. Seuss film in March.
  • Launching its "Real Breakfast 24/7" campaign, Denny's (Nasdaq: DENN  ) is looking to gain dominance in the breakfast space. The company is bringing in the big guns (literally), using former Sopranos star Tony Sirico to take down fast-food operators that serve up so-called "Fake O'Fakerton" breakfast. This time the gloves are really off.
  • Continuing to heat up the competition in the popular coffee space, Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC  ) is now offering a tonic to soothe the daylight saving's slump, introducing a new line of premium coffee drinks to drowsy customers who forget to turn their clocks forward on March 9. You can quaff the lattes straight, or with a shot of expresso (the Sonic boom) if you need a full dose to clear the cobwebs.
  • And to reach out to the touchy-feely crowd, YUM! Brands (NYSE: YUM  ) wants to prove a toasted wrap beats the plain variety. In a twist on the traditional taste test, KFC is sending marketing teams across the nation to ask diners to choose their favorite sandwich wrap by touch alone. Hint -- the toasted wrap feels like it might taste better.

So, will this menu mayhem drive more business? Or is it just too many marketing executives with not enough to do? Hard to say -- restaurant stocks are in the doldrums these days. But with the tax stimulus program that will put more cash into diners' hands, anything that might draw customers back in is worth a try.

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