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5 major restaurant chains that started in Atlanta

Between its large population and thriving business environment, Atlanta is home to more restaurant chains than you might think. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, more food franchises are headquartered here than in any other city. 

Many of these franchises are homegrown originals. These are five chains that grew from inside the perimeter to having restaurants in dozens of states. 

1. Chick-fil-A: Hapeville, 1946

Chick-fil-A traces its roots to the Dwarf Grill, a small restaurant located near a Ford plant. The plant has since been demolished, but Chick-fil-A has kept its original restaurant around, calling it the Dwarf House. 

>> 9 up-and-coming healthy fast food chains that should scare McDonald's

Eater pointed out that the Dwarf House serves menu items not seen in other restaurants from the chain, including chicken gravy, bacon with two slices of bread and cheese. 

2. Waffle House: Avondale Estates, 1955

The first Waffle House started at 2719 East College Ave. Its founder Joe Rogers Sr. wanted to marry fast food and fast service around the clock. 

The chain is currently headquartered in unincorporated Gwinnett County. 

3. Mellow Mushroom: Downtown Atlanta, 1974

The groovy pizza chain began when two Georgia Tech students and a University of Georgia student opened a pizzeria on Spring Street. They began franchising out the name in the late ’80s. The first franchise outside of Atlanta went to Athens before spreading to 16 states. 

>> Ten strange fast food items

4. Moe’s Southwest Grill: Buckhead, 2000

The original Moe’s is a yellow building in Buckhead marked by a large sign proclaiming it “the very first Moe’s on earth.” The pop culture- and celebrity-obsessed chain has grown quickly from its Atlanta roots to have more than 600 locations in 38 states. 

5. Applebee’s: Decatur 1980

Bill and T.J. Palmer opened “T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs” in Decatur in 1980. They sold to W. R. Grace and Company in 1983 and got the chain together from there, baby.

>> The 8 Best Fast Food Breakfasts

WATCH: Woman fights McDonald's employee over McChicken in viral video

Sometimes fast food just doesn’t come out fast enough for some people. That apparently was the case at a Des Moines, Iowa, McDonald’s on Saturday when a woman who couldn’t wait any longer for her McChicken reportedly became enraged and started a brawl at the restaurant.

KCCI reported that Valerie Anne Shepherd, 21, and Jesse James Downs, 24, were arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges in connection with the incident.

Video of the altercation was captured by 34-year-old Amanda Gravely, who was waiting at the drive-through window, according to the Des Moines Register, Gravely described the impatient customer as an “extremely hangry [hungry and angry] woman." The video shows the woman shouting at the employee at the counter.

>> Watch a censored version of the video here (Viewer discretion advised)

In the video, the woman, who was accompanied by two men, screams, “Give me my [expletive]!” Then she’s heard screaming, “Give me my money, and I will leave! Give me my money, and I will leave!”

The woman then appears to hop on the counter while she continues to scream at the employees about getting her McChicken. Soon, the woman is behind the counter, appearing to flail her arms at the employees as they try to grab her and calm the situation.

One of the men with her can be heard saying, “Grab her hair" as the brawling continues behind the counter.

>> Read more trending news

The video then shows the McDonald’s manager handing over the McChicken sandwich to the woman, who throws it back over the counter and in the employee’s face.

Gravely, who recorded the incident, told the Register that the McDonald’s appeared to be short-staffed and that the drive-through line was packed.

Gravely, who was with her husband and kids in the car, said the woman in the video “screamed and yelled a lot more” before the recording began. Gravely thought the altercation was “crazy” and was worried about her kids hearing and witnessing it.

“[I] wanted to record in case it escalates,” Gravely told the newspaper.

Gravely received her McFlurry moments after the brawl concluded.

“Now we have to think twice: Just how important is that chicken sandwich?” Gravely said.

Tuna recalled over possible hepatitis A contamination

A Hawaii-based company is recalling frozen yellowfin tuna after samples tested positive for hepatitis A.

Restaurants in at least three states – California, Texas and Oklahoma – are believed to have received shipments of the fish, according to a Food and Drug Administration press release

>> Read the press release

According to the press release, Hilo Fish Co. "began recalling tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Co. and Santa Cruz Seafood” on May 18 after the tuna tested positive for the hepatitis A virus. In Texas, three Sysco locations received shipments of the tuna, which means that it could have gone out to any number of restaurants. While one shipment did go to New York, the New York State Department of Health stated that the product was not served. The Centers for Disease Control is not currently aware of any illnesses stemming from the tuna but noted that people who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A are not at risk of contracting the virus.

>> See a list of establishments that may have been affected

Specifically, the recalled products include vacuum packed 8-ounce tuna steaks with an expiration date of Oct. 1, 2018, and 15-pound cases of frozen tuna cubes dated April 1, 2019.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that causes fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain and a number of other symptoms. Individuals who are worried that they might have contracted the virus are advised to contact a health professional.

>> Read more trending news

The tuna apparently originated in Indonesia, and the Hawaii Department of Health notified the FDA on May 1 that one of the cubes tested positive for Hepatitis A. Another company, Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC, quickly recalled fish sent to customers in Oahu, but the FDA reported that “U.S. mainland and other Hawaiian islands were not affected by the recall.”

Read more here.

Chick-fil-A adds new sandwich, lemonade to summer menu

Chick-fil-A is offering its customers the savory tastes of a backyard barbecue with two new summer menu items.

>> Read more trending news

The Atlanta-based fast food chain introduced its new Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and Watermelon Mint Lemonade on Monday. The summer sandwich and beverage will be rolled out nationwide at all Chick-fil-A locations today through Aug. 19.

The barbecue sandwich includes up Chick-fil-A’s signature grilled chicken with bacon glazed in a brown sugar pepper blend and Colby Jack cheese on a Hawaiian-style bun, topped with a smokehouse barbecue sauce. The 500-calorie sandwich costs $5.59 before tax.

The new minty beverage, which Chick-fil-A suggests pairing with the Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich, adds watermelon and mint flavors to the chain’s beloved fresh-squeezed lemonade at 200 calories. A small drink costs $1.85 and is also available in a diet variety.

Chick-fil-A backs its new seasonal sandwich up with science, reporting more than 95 percent of U.S. consumers like barbecue.

“We know our customers love the flavors of our grilled menu, and we are excited to offer two items this season that will give them something new to try,” David Farmer, Chick-fil-A vice president of menu strategy and development, said in a news release.

The Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich “was incredibly popular in test markets. I hope our customers are as excited as I am to get this kind of high-quality sandwich at the drive-thru,” Farmer said. “We hope customers will enjoy the new ingredients and flavor combinations in our Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and Watermelon Mint Lemonade all summer long.”

>> Four Atlanta restaurants are the 'best barbecue joints in America,' according to ranking

Chick-fil-A added another limited-time menu item in March when it introduced the Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, a spin on the Frosted Lemonade, which the company introduced in 2015. The Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, described by Chick-fil-A as a “seasonal twist on a customer favorite,” is a combination of Chick-fil-A’s signature lemonade, the vanilla Icedream and strawberry purée. It’s being offered nationwide through May 20.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report. 

Teachers: Get free Chipotle this week

Chipotle is giving all educators buy-one/get-one-free burritos, bowls, salads and tacos Tuesday.

Just show up at any U.S. Chipotle from 3 p.m. to close with your school ID and order away.

>> Read more trending news

The offer’s open to teachers from preschool all the way through college.

The fine print: One free entree item per teacher customer. And it’s only valid for in-store orders.

Read more here.

Chipotle investigating credit card data breach

Chipotle Mexican Grill is investigating a data breach in its payment processing system after reporting a sharp increase in sales.

The fast-casual restaurant said it recently detected unauthorized activity on its network that supports the payment system. Chipotle said the transactions occurred from March 24 to April 18, and the company believes it took the proper precautions to stop the breach.

>> Read more trending news

The breach dominated the company’s other announcement that same-store sales grew 17.8 percent in the first quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2016, revenue increased more than 28 percent to $1.07 billion. The chain also opened up 57 new restaurants.

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO of Chipotle, said the year "is off to a strong start, as our restaurant managers and teams are energized by our renewed focus on the customer."

He added: "By simplifying the focus in our restaurants to only those elements that lead to a great guest experience, our operations have improved every single month, which gives us confidence that we are on our way to achieve our mission to ensure that great food made with whole unprocessed ingredients is accessible to everyone.”

The increase in sales comes after Chipotle’s flurry of food contamination incidents a couple years ago. 

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino changes colors, flavors with the twirl of a straw

Starbucks is calling a limited-time beverage that changes colors and flavors with a stir of the straw a "Unicorn Frappuccino."

>> Read more trending news

The chain says the drink was inspired by the trend of unicorn-themed food online and starts out purple with a sweet and fruity taste. It changes to pink and tart after it's stirred to mix in a blue drizzle. It will be available Wednesday through Sunday in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with a 12-ounce size containing 280 calories.

Earlier this month, Seattle-based Starbucks also introduced a "Pink Drink" made with coconut milk and topped with strawberries. The company said it had previously been a customized drink that enjoyed "fandom online."

Mass. man wins butter lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts

A Massachusetts man who sued Dunkin’ Donuts for not using real butter on his bagel has won a settlement.

>> Read more trending news 

Jan Polanik accused 20 local Dunkin’ Donuts of grand deception.

It turns out it’s all about how you order a bagel.

If you ask for a bagel with butter, you will get a butter substitute.

A spokesperson told the Boston Globe that customers will only get real butter if they ask for it on the side.

This is because Dunkin’ workers keep the butter packets refrigerated and the margarine at room temperature, so it’s easily spreadable.

It’s unclear how much money the man won in the lawsuit.

Woman finds cow lip in tacos

A Texas woman found what she thought were teeth in barbacoa tacos ordered at El Rincon, a restaurant in Pflugerville.

According to San Antonio’s KENS, Courtney Aguilar took to Facebook to share a picture of the tacos, saying, “When you order barbacoa tacos, but get teeth instead.”

Aguilar wrote that she asked a restaurant server if she was seeing teeth in her food, and the server responded, “baby teeth.”

What she was seeing was actually cow lips.

>> Read more trending news

The restaurant responded to Aguilar’s claim on Facebook, saying they get their barbacoa from a vendor. The vendor in turn responded clarifying that what the woman saw was actually cow lips.

“Barbacoa is one the few items that we buy pre-made from an approved FDA vendor, and we are no longer going to buy from that vendor,” the post reads. “Barbacoa is cooked with different parts of the cow, but mostly from the head or cheek of cattle. El Rincon will stop selling barbacoa until we get a new vendor.”

“The reality is this: Barbacoa is a rough business. It starts with a whole skinned cow’s head, wrapped in burlap and baling wire and buried in a smoking hole in the ground overnight,” the San Antonio Express News’ food writer Mike Sutter wrote. “In the morning, somebody with a sledgehammer opens up that skull and the harvesting begins: all the fatty and lean soft tissue from lip to crown. Sometimes the brains, sometimes the eyes, sometimes the tongue if it’s not being held out for lengua.”

McDonald's replacing McFlurry machines after complaints

McDonald's is replacing older McFlurry machines after customer complaints about them being broken.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the new machines will have fewer parts, making them easier to maintain and clean.

>> Read more trending stories

The new machines, which will be rolling out in restaurants in the U.S. and Europe, will dispense more flavors than older ones and require less time to clean.

Older machines, according to McDonald's, require daily cleaning that can take up to four hours, which means during many locations' 24 hours of operation, the machines are out of use.

“We regularly service our soft-serve equipment during off-peak hours,” a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal in January. “Customers who come in during that time may encounter a longer wait time or soft-serve dessert unavailability.”

Although McDonald's says the replacements are to make treat-making more efficient, speculation on social media has long been that customers are told the machine is broken because employees may not feel like cleaning the older machines or making the dessert at all.

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