Christian theologians must have a word for the period between Lent and Christmas. But we don't know it. So, being High Priests in the Religion of Fast Food, we propose that these 10 months be henceforth known as The Time It Took McDonald's To Bring The Fish McBites National.
Back in February, you see, we wrote that the world's biggest fast food chain was testing a new menu item called Fish McBites, a piscine take on its popular (and relatively new) Chicken McBites. And now McDonald's has revealed its plans to take the Fish McBites national at the beginning of 2013.
The Fish McBites, which are made of Alaskan pollock, will be available in three sizes: "Snack" (3 oz), "Regular" (5 oz) and "Shareable" (10 oz). Reports from about a month ago indicated that the snack size would be part of a revitalized dollar menu, but a McDonald's representative told HuffPost Food this would not be the case. Instead, prices will vary from location to location. (That said, it's possible that some locations will offer the "Snack" size for a dollar.)
If you're excited about tasting teeny-tiny versions of the Filet-O-Fish, though, you had better act fast. A McDonald's representative told HuffPost Food that the Fish McBites are only going to be available for a limited time across the country. They'll only be added to the permanent menu if they sell extremely well -- as the Spicy Chicken McBites did, but the regular Chicken McBites seem not to have done.
McDonald's commissioned a (rather annoying) song to promote the new launch. The company is asking creative fast food fans to submit ideas for a "Fun, Funny, Exciting, Creative, Unique and Culturally-Relevant" music video for the song, one of which will eventually be produced. The winning videographer will get a $16,500 prize for his or her work.
Also on HuffPost:
America's Drive-In rounds out the top 10 with U.S. revenues of $3.6 billion.
KFC, the biggest chicken vendor in America, comes in ninth with revenues of $4.7 billion, though there were 107 fewer outposts in August 2011 than there were the year before.
8. Pizza Hut
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/pizza-hut-ads_n_911106.html" target="_hplink">Good ads</a> equal big revenues for the biggest pizza chain in America. Pizza Hut took in a solid $5.4 billion in 2010.
7. Dunkin Donuts
America runs on Dunkin' to the tune of $6 billion a year -- that's almost $20 for each and every person in the country.
6. Taco Bell
2010 U.S. revenues of $6.9 billion make Taco Bell the biggest Mexican restaurant chain in the country.
Starbucks may have had a few hiccups <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/13/starbucks-bistro-boxes_n_897768.html" target="_hplink">when it comes to introducing food</a>. But its success in beverages has propelled American's biggest coffee purveyor into fifth place among fast food chains, with 2010 revenues of $7.6 billion.
Wendy's fries may be <a href="http://www.slashfood.com/2011/04/20/wendys-fries-vs-mcdonalds-fries-taste-test/" target="_hplink">number one</a>, but its revenues aren't there quite yet.
3. Burger King
Number two burger chain Burger King was sold for $3.26 billion to 3G Capital in 2009. 2010 revenues of $8.6 billion make that sound like a deal to us! (We know, we know, there's a difference between revenues and profits...)
Subway has the most outlets of any fast food brand; it expanded that total by 816 in the past year alone. But because each store is relatively small, revenues, at $10 billion, pale in comparison with those at the number one chain.
With revenues standing at a whopping $32.4 billion in 2010, the Golden Arches aren't being dethroned any time soon. What's surprising about its success is that per store sales at McDonald's are bigger than those even cult-ish brands with fewer outlets. With $2.4 million <em>per store</em>, they're second only to Chick Fil-A, which fans travel miles to visit.