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Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.

IHOP rolls out summer menu items

IHOP rolls out summer menu items

(WXIA) -- IHOP is celebrating the start of summer with new pancake recipes, lemonades, salads and sandwiches.

The chain's signature pancakes can now be ordered in three summer fruit varieties -- strawberry banana cream pie, raspberry peach and blueberry cannoli cream.

New lemonade flavors on IHOP's menu include iced tea, orange tangerine iced tea and cherry blackberry. The summer lemonades are available through July 20.

IHOP has also added menu items to its lunch and dinner offerings, including:

Citrus Chicken Pecan Salad
Grilled chicken, orange segments and candied pecans on a bed of mixed greens, tossed in orange vinaigrette dressing

Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad
Crispy chicken, bacon, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes and crumbled Blue cheese on a bed of mixed greens and tossed in ranch dressing; also available with grilled chicken

Mellow Mushroom hosting Sports Authority shopping spree contest

Mellow Mushroom hosting Sports Authority shopping spree contest

(WXIA) -- In honor of its role as sponsor of the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, Mellow Mushroom is hosting a contest for the runners, athletes and weekend warriors in metro Atlanta.

The Atlanta-based pizza chain has debuted its Mellow Sports Sweep contest. Based on the old game show "Supermarket Sweep," the contest will give two lucky winners the opportunity to go on a 90-second shopping spree at Sports Authority.

To enter, create a 15-second Instagram video using #MellowSportsSweep explaining why you should win the contest.

The grand prize includes two race entries into the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, one night at the W Atlanta - Buckhead, dinner for two at Mellow Mushroom and, of course, the Sports Authority sweep.

Shoney's offering free strawberry pie on Mother's Day

Shoney's offering free strawberry pie on Mother's Day

(WXIA) -- Shoney's is honoring local mothers by offering a free slice of strawberry pie to all moms who eat at the chain's Mother's Day buffet.

Shoney's will host the buffet on Sunday, May 11, with offerings like turkey and dressing, smokehouse ham, fried chicken, herb-roasted salmon and garlic shrimp. Buffet prices start at $11.99.

Visit shoneys.com to find your nearest Shoney's.

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

(WXIA) -- Several Southern states were slammed by severe weather earlier this week, including Lincoln County, Tenn., which experienced a devastating tornado.

Those who want to contribute to the community's rebuilding fund can now do so, simply by eating at Chili's.

On Sunday, May 4, more than 60 Chili's restaurants in Georgia and Tennessee will contribute 10 percent of the day's earnings to the Lincoln County Disaster Relief Fund.

Chili's diners can also make monetary donations by adding extra money to their check totals.

Visit chilis.com to find your nearest Chili's.

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

(WXIA) -- Few foods say "summer" like baby back ribs, and Shane's Rib Shack wants to celebrate the change in seasons with free summertime food.

On Saturday, May 17, participating Shane's Rib Shack locations will give away a free half-rack of baby back ribs and a 20-ounce drink to the first 100 customers. The lucky diners will also receive rib giveaway T-shirts.

"Our fifth annual rib giveaway provides us the opportunity to say thank you to all of our loyal customers and fans who have made Shane's Rib Shack what it is today," chain founder and president Shane Thompson said in a release.

Shane's Rib Shack opened its first location 12 years ago in McDonough and now has 70 restaurants in 12 states.

Visit shanesribshack.com for more information.

Cabana Grill opens in Snellville

Cabana Grill opens in Snellville

SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- Cabana Grill opened its first U.S. location in Snellville on Monday, April 14.

This 3,700-square-foot restaurant is packed with space to enjoy the fresh Tex-Mex concept in all its glory, with decor that offers the street feel of Mexico, including a window into the kitchen where customers can see the corn and flour tortillas being freshly prepared. 

I was given the opportunity to try the steak with onions and bell pepers on a corn tortilla, and it was amazing. I also tried the potatoes with cheese and pico de gallo, which was good as well, as was steak on a flour tortilla with a cream sauce. I loved all the food I tried. 

CEO Todd Coerver, a UGA graduate, told me about the research on where to place the first Cabana Grill and was excited that it was in Georgia. He also said that the second location would be in Jacksonville, Fla., this summer and hoped to have a second location ITP by the new year.