May 11, 2021
While many of us try to maintain healthy eating habits, we sometimes fall off the good nutrition wagon. But if you need an excuse for some guilt-free indulgence, May 11 is National Eat What You Want Day. On this day, we set aside our diets and indulge ourselves in culinary temptations that we may eschew most of the year.
In the U.S., there is no shortage of favorite foods. According to a Harris Poll of more than 2,000 adults, the single food that most Americans would want to eat for the rest of their lives is pizza, which 21% of those surveyed chose as their answer. Next up was steak (16%), followed by hamburgers (13%) and tacos (11%). Whatever your preference, here are a few brands that will let you whet your appetite on those foods that you just got to have.
Though it may have been invented in Italy, the United States is the largest pizza market in the world, making up some $46.24 billion of the $145 billion worldwide market in 2020. As much as we may love our neighborhood pizza establishments, the industry is dominated by the big names led by Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (Tii:DPZ) and Pizza Hut, part of the Yum! Brands, Inc. (Tii:YUM) portfolio. Domino’s has more than 17,600 locations in over 90 markets around the world as of January 3, 2021, while Pizza Hut’s 17,639 units service 110 countries and territories.
Who doesn’t love a good steak? For nearly 40 years, LongHorn Steakhouse has been satisfying red meat cravings for millions of consumers. With more than 500 locations, this subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc. (Tii:DRI) offers a steak for every palate, including Flo’s Filet, the Outlaw Ribeye, Renegade Sirloin, New York Strip, Fire-Grilled T-Bone, The LongHorn Porterhouse, and more. For the third quarter ended February 28, 2021, LongHorn Steakhouse generated $454.3 million in sales, a decline of 11% from the year-ago period.
When it comes to National Eat What You Want Day, you can have any type of burger that suits your fancy. For a fast-food casual dining restaurant that focuses on burgers, hot dogs and fries, Shake Shack (Tii:SHAK) is right up your alley to satisfy your cravings. With approximately 320 locations in 30 U.S. States and the District of Columbia and more than 100 international locations, Shake Shack’s offerings include the ShackBurger single or double cheeseburger; the Shack Stack cheeseburger topped with a ‘Shroom Burger with lettuce, tomato and its proprietary ShackSauce; the SmokeShack single or double cheeseburger with Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers and ShackSauce. For the vegetarians, there’s the ‘Shroom Burger, a fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce.
If you’re in the mood for Mexican-inspired indulgences, satisfaction is just a call or click away. With more than 2,800 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (Tii:CMG) is best known for its made-to-order burritos and tacos. The quick-service restaurant even offers catering services for your next get-together. A major player in the space, Taco Bell, another Yum! Brands business, boasts more than 7,000 restaurants in almost 30 countries. Some of the QSR’s newer offerings include the Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Beefy Potato-Rito, Quesalupa and Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.
Chicken wings remain a popular cheat-day food. In fact, Americans consumed 1.42 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday alone, according to the National Chicken Council, the non-profit trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C. that represents U.S. chicken producers. Wingstop Inc. (Tii:WING) operates 1,538 franchises worldwide that offer more than dozen flavors of bone-in or boneless options. They include Hot Lemon, Bayou BBQ, Lemon Garlic, Lemon Pepper, Original Hot, Hickory Smoked, Atomic, Mango Habanero, Cajun and more.
However you plan to enjoy Eat What You Want Day, be sure to carpe diem because you only live once. You can always renew the gym membership in the morning.