Halfords Stereotypes Car Drivers…With Interesting Results

female car driver

Of course, in day to day life, Stereotyping is wrong. But when it comes to car drivers, the make of car that they have can sometimes be a tell-tale sign of their personalities. I’m sure we all know a Mercedes owner that thinks they’re a bit of alright and that Landrover owner? Yep, they’ll park across two bays. Guaranteed. What about that girl driving the Fiat 500? She’s just been to get her nails done and has a Costa Coffee in the cup holder. Fact. Like it or not, there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to drivers and Halford have used YouGov data to build these stereotypes even further.

Advertisment

Halfords have used 12, 000 pieces of data and also surveyed 2000 drivers nationwide to generate stereotypes of drivers of particular cars. When it comes to a car driver’s love life, Halfords reckon they have got it down to a T, and you can tell who is a love rat and who is a hopeless romantic, just from the car that they’re driving. According to the data that has been released, Lexus drivers are the most likely to cheat. This doesn’t mean that allll Lexus drivers jump into bed with the first person they see, but according to the data a huge 43% of Lexus drivers have admitted that they cheat or have cheated in the past. Many admitted that the encounter was with a friend and one in three said it was with a work colleague. In fact, according to Halfords, there’s a stereotype for every motorist and you can find out yours just by the car that you drive.

Advertisment
Advertisment

Male motorists confessed to cheating the most, with one in five even being totally honest and admitting to having an affair. A huge 40% of Alfa Romeo drivers also admitted to cheating but more of these said it was with someone random rather than someone closer to home. 21% of Audi drivers were not found to cheat but definitely admitted to fancying someone that they worked with. The worst for cheating in the work place were Mazda drivers, with 67% admitting they’d done the dirty with a colleague!

When it comes to good looks it seems that Land Rover drivers win that one hands down gaining an average score of 8/10 for their appearance. However, finding one that isn’t hard to get is a near impossibility, with 86% claiming that they stay loyal. Fiat drivers, on the other hand, gained just 4/10 on the attractiveness scale. Who knew that a car could say so much? The survey has been so successful that it has now become an actual feature on the Halford’s website. Simply head to Halfords.com and click on ‘you are your car’ to enter your name and the type of car that you drive. Halfords will then generate what they think you are like as a person and will even say what you are likely to be up to at the weekend. The generator will tell you what you are looking for in another person, give you an ‘attractiveness score’ (despite never seeing you before), tell you what you like to eat, what you’re wearing, what you are most likely to spend your money on and whether or not you’re an inconvenience to road users. If you haven’t already, I’d say take this one with a pinch of salt…

Burger King Cuts Cruelty to its Poultry

Burger King Cuts Cruelty to its Poultry

 

Advertisment

Burger King Cuts Cruelty to its Poultry

Burger King has pledged to significantly change their policy surrounding the welfare of the chickens they use in their products. This ensures they meet welfare standards set out by Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

Burger King and their parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI) worked with Mercy For Animals, an international farmed animal protection organisation on the new policy. Mercy For Animals works on the front-line for fighting for farmed animal protection. They take many approaches to “expose cruelty, prosecute abusers, and inspire consumers to make compassionate food choices.”

Burger King has been aware of their consumer’s interest in the welfare of their food for a while, Michael C. Appleby notes. He wrote: “a senior executive of Burger King commented in 2002 that their customers expect them – the restaurant company – to ensure that the animals supplying them with food are properly looked after.”

GAP Standards

GAP standards will require chicken suppliers to breed strains of chickens in high-welfare conditions, making sure that the stocking density of the birds is reduced. They also require that there are higher quality barns for the birds to grow in with improved light sources and better litter quality to ensure higher values of life. And when it comes time to slaughter, standards ensure there is controlled atmosphere stunning to ensure birds are unconscious.

Burger King Cuts Cruelty to its PoultryRBI has also vowed that along with meeting GAP standards by 2024, they will also transition to cage-free eggs in the US, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. The organisation has also committed itself to sourcing pork globally from suppliers that do not use gestation stalls.

Advertisment

 

Brands following GAP standards

These policy changes follow a lead in farmed animal-friendly policies started by McDonalds in 2015. The fast food chain pledged to use cage-free eggs for its US and Canadian restaurants by 2025. McDonalds also pledged to source pork from suppliers free from gestation stalls by the end of 2022.

Burger King also joins large chains such as Starbucks and Chipotle in working with GAP, meaning that more chickens raised for meat (broilers) will not be put through horrific abuse. Broilers are typically bred to grow so quickly that they are usually crippled by the unnatural amount of weight that they are carrying. This means that many of them spend most of their lives sitting in their own excrement, unable to stand due to the unbearable leg pain their weight causes. The animals are usually covered in painful sores and losing feathers due to being continuously covered in wet litter. After all of this, they are taken to a slaughterhouse where many chickens are executed by being hung upside down and having their throats cut, while many are still fully conscious.

Advertisment

With these big food chains taking control of monitoring their food sources it is easy to be hopeful that this way of thinking relating to food production will catch on, and many more animals will be saved from the pain of living a torturous life for the food industry.

Mercy For Animals’ final line of thinking in relation to the policy change is “the best way for individual consumers to help end this cruelty is to leave animals off their plates.”

 

Ryanair Schedule Site Shutdown

Ryanair flights

Ryanair has scheduled a site shut down and the world has gone into complete meltdown. You may or may not be familiar with Ryanair’s check-in policy which supposedly allows for things to run a lot more smoothly and reduces airport queues. If you don’t check in online with Ryanair before your flight, you will have to pay £45 when you arrive at the airport to check-in at the desk. Understandable, you might say. Who doesn’t have access to the internet these days? Who doesn’t check in online before a flight anyway? Does anyone even queue at the check-in desk to have their boarding passes printed anymore? With all this in mind, Ryanair’s policy might seem like a sensible one….except when the site goes down and everyone gets charged. Not so sensible now.

Advertisment

If you are planning on flying with Ryanair this week, you might want to check in as soon as you can to avoid being stuck when the site goes down and save that £45 for holiday or duty-free spends. From 6.30pm tonight (22nd March) and part of tomorrow as well, the airline has scheduled for the site to go down at 6.30 pm. They have given warning to all of their customers to make sure they check in before this time if they are flying in the next couple of days, but in case you haven’t yet got the memo and are blissfully packing your suitcase, planning to check in once everything is packed away, then you might want to get a shift on. Just to be on the safe side, Ryanair has said that any flights taking place in the next 48 hours will not be able to check in online after 6.30pm. And don’t think you can be clever and get around it by trying the handy mobile app – ‘cos that ain’t gonna work either.

Advertisment
Advertisment

If you are travelling Ryanair in the next 48 hours, or if you are going to be affected by the site shut down, you will have been contacted via email by the airline themselves. The reason for the site closure is so that important upgrades can take place so the site can become, in the words of a spokesman ‘the Amazon of travel’. Wow. The message you will be faced with when you try to access the site will be something along the lines of ‘sorry, website is unavailable due to scheduled maintenance.’ Que the angry Tweets and emails, Ryanair…

Flash Sale?

To add insult to injury, Ryanair added one of their infamous ‘flash sales’ onto their website where flights go for as little as £5…right before that shut the site down for ‘maintenance’. This, obviously, caused quite the uproar as potential passengers got more and more excited at the prospect of a £5 flight seat, only to find that when they had hurriedly selected their destination and headed to pay, the site had gone completely down and they were unable to book their bargain, last minute holidays. Oh well, saved yourself a fiver at least. It is thought that the flash sale was met by another type of technical issue as people were unable to buy the flights even before the scheduled maintenance was due to take place (6.30pm). Some even mused whether or not it was just one, big, cruel, early, April Fool.

If you missed the flash sale due to the ‘scheduled maintenance’ that took place early last night, then don’t fear, a Ryanair spokesperson has confirmed that another flash sale will take place ‘very soon.’ We await with baited breath…

Nike Plus Size – Why Plus Size Activewear Matters

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you will have seen the latest Plus Size Clothing Range released by Nike. Available in both the US and the UK on their respective sites, Nike is neither the first or the last brand to embrace plus size ranges. With companies such as Fabletics and Adidas offering some Plus Sizes, Nike has finally caught up and brought out their own stylish range of clothing for the larger lady. They don’t scrimp on style either. Unlike many Plus Size Activewear Brands, or should I say, everyday brands that stock larger sizes in literal black bin bags, Nike offer stylish, figure hugging items. This is great if you’re all for self-love and showing off what you have at the gym.

Advertisment

Plus bodies are becoming more and more mainstream (See: She Might be). Take a look at H&M and New Look, their plus and curve ranges have increased their annual profit by over 10%. It’s refreshing to see brands embracing a national average. Especially since your everyday woman totalling a size 16-18, it’s not hard to see where the money is in terms of affordable and stylish clothing. Notice here how I don’t use the term “real women”. This is important. Every woman is a real woman. However, in recent years the plus size stigma has always included a baggy, dull, and “back of the store” aesthetic in their ranges. Now, with bloggers and Nike Plus Ambassadors such as Gracie and Danielle, this definition is changing for the better. Women around the UK are becoming more and more body positive. In the last year, there has been an influx of Plus Size Bloggers offering fashion advice for those of a similar build. It’s refreshing to see the backlash of women who have had enough of what the media tells them is the “norm”.

Advertisment

Nike embracing this current era of plus size fashion is a step in the right direction. Fashion and activewear should be inclusive of all bodies, and this is something that a representative for the company noted when asked to comment:

“Nike recognises that women are stronger, bolder and more outspoken than ever… The days where we have to add ‘female’ before ‘athlete’ are over. She is an athlete, period. And having helped fuel this cultural shift, we celebrate these athletes’ diversity, from ethnicity to body shape.”

Amazing. It should be known that larger women hit the gym. “Thin” does not equal health, just as “Fat” does not equal unhealthiness. Everyone is different, and companies should adapt to the changing definitions of what it means to be authentically female. Embrace the change.

You can find Nike’s Plus Size Range on their UK website or in stockist stores today. Plus Sizes range from X-3XL, and the size guide available on the Nike website can help you decide which is the best fit for you.

 

More Complaints as Npower Overcharge their Customers

Npower energy bill

We all know what can happen if you don’t submit meter readings and end up with an estimated bill from your energy provider – you are likely to be overcharged. However, Npower have recently come under fire (and not for the first time) due to the enormous extent to which they are overcharging their customers. Even when meter readings have been submitted, there have been unexplained cases where customer’s have seen their regular energy bills rocket, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Of course, if you notice this happening, you should immediately contact your energy provider to find out the cause, but what if it’s too late in the game and you have been overpaying for, well, years?

Advertisment

The case of David Redfern is particularly extreme. As a homeowner who has their energy provided by Npower, David was shocked to discover that in true Npower fashion, his bills had suddenly rocketed from £60 per month to £500 and he found himself trapped in a lengthy dispute with the company to try and find the cause of the sudden increase in his outgoings. For fear he would be cut off and find himself completely without gas or electricity, Redfern had little choice but to continue paying the bills, although it was becoming a struggle. Trying meticulously to use less power and reduce his astronomical £478.89 bill was also proving difficult. David has spoken of how, as a result of Npower’s mistake, his and his partner’s living habits had to be completely changed and David did whatever he could to save energy, such as replacing regular bulbs with LED’s that are known to significantly reduce energy consumption. In the meantime, he was in a constant war with Npower to try and get them to reduce their charges. When fitting a consumption meter himself, he had the realisation that his business wasn’t even using as much. It was time that something was done.

Advertisment
Advertisment

David’s problems came to a head when he persuaded Npower to install a new meter for him at his home – and he now wants to warn others of the overcharges that might face when using Npower. He warns that people should look into their reasons for being overcharged rather than just accepting it and paying more than you need to. Once David was successful in getting Npower to switch over his meter for him, he suddenly saw a drop in his bills from £500 right down to £40-£60. Claiming that Npower’s ignorance is ‘detrimental to people’s lifestyles’ he uploaded a screenshot of his account onto social media, where it has been shared over 4,000 times. Redfern was charged so much whilst he was receiving incorrect bills that when the problem was eventually rectified he found himself in nearly £20, 000 worth of credit, and after a few calculations figured he wouldn’t have to pay another bill for 33 years. There has been no comment from Npower on the matter and they are unsure of ‘how the charge came about.’

If you are now sat wondering if you are paying too much on your energy bills, according to UK Power, the average monthly bill for a house of medium size should be around £89 based on an average gas usage of 12,500 kw/h and electricity of 3, 100 kw/h. This is based on information that is approved by Ofgem. Npower have stated that they will be visiting David’s home to identify the root cause of this enormous billing issue – so if you are in the same situation don’t give up – help from your energy provider will come…eventually.

 

Could ‘Catfishing’ Become Illegal?

online dating

In the age of online dating, I’m sure you know at least one couple who have an extremely romantic, fairytale of a story that goes along the lines of ‘once upon a time, when they both swiped right…’ to explain how they met. Meeting a partner online is not uncommon. In a world where pretty much everything centralises around social media, the likes of Match.com, Tinder and other popular dating sites are a big go-to for people hoping to be lucky in love. However, whilst you may have heard many a success story, and people do find a companion online, hiding behind a keyboard or phone screen can become all too tempting for some people, who create fake profiles to target those just looking for a good time. And that’s when it becomes complicated. Catfishing is the term used for someone who is pretending to be someone they’re not whilst using online dating. Due to the devastating consequences this type of fooling around can sometimes have, could catfishing soon become illegal?

Advertisment

The calls for fake profile users to be prosecuted come as a woman named Anne Rowe was completely fooled by a seemingly regular guy she met online. Anne, aged 44 met and fell in love with ‘Anthony Ray’ on the popular dating app Tinder. Things were going well (or so she thought) and she met up with Anthony regularly. After nearly a year, the couple even spoke of marriage in some of the thousands of messages that they exchanged online. To explain his regular absences, Ray told Anne that he was a businessman that travelled abroad for work purposes. When the truth came out, Anne found out that Ray was actually married with children and their whole relationship had been based on one, very elaborate, lie. To make matters worse, Anna was not Anthony Ray’s only victim and he has in fact tricked other women into fake relationships. Ann had trusted this man enough to become his fiancee, only to found out the man she was supposed to be marrying was nothing other than an internet persona.

Advertisment
Advertisment

Whilst this may sound trivial compared to some of the tragedies we hear of in the media today, Anne is actually calling for people that use a fake profile to be prosecuted, after experiencing the emotional effects of being catfished herself. She wants the government to have tighter rules when it comes to online dating, forcing people to use their real names on their profiles to prevent fake identities tricking people into what seems like a real, loving and stable relationship – like Anne thought she had with Ray. She goes on to explain how it is unfair to take advantage of someone who craves companionship as well as a loving relationship.

Ironically, only when the tables were turned did Anne discover that Ray actually wasn’t who he said he was. Some time into their ‘relationship’ Ray suddenly became distant, so much so that Anne didn’t see or hear from him for several months. After a while, she found him again on Tinder. Knowing this wasn’t right, she decided to use a fake profile to get back in touch with Ray. Rowe knew she had been duped when the cycle began again and the same sort of thing started to happen as when they first began talking. Deciding enough is enough, Rowe revealed her true identity and prepared herself for a long string of excuses from Ray. Like anyone, having her trust betrayed is not something that Anne has taken lightly and she has now started a petition to make catfishing an illegal offence. Although it’s early days, I’m sure this story applies to thousands of people out there and maybe it is about time we make online dating a little less mid-leading?

 

The Results Are In: The Best and Worst Courier Services Revealed

delivery driver

In this day and age, we all love the convenience of being able to buy something online and receive it the next day. The likes of Amazon Prime even offer same day delivery and with free returns, it means there is literally no reason to leave the house and enter a shop anymore. But what happens when the delivery system fails? What happens when the next day (or same day) service you have paid for doesn’t show up? Or if your items appear broken when they are opened? The online shopping world is sadly not short of courier delivery horror stories, from broken and lost items to rude, unpleasant and sometimes AWOL drivers. Unfortunately, we don’t usually have any control over what courier service our favourite online shopping sites choose to use, as Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis points out, but it seems that we certainly have our favourites, as a recent poll by Money Saving Expert has revealed. The poll was voted in by many online shoppers (over 11,000) who had had experience with several different courier firms. The were a few very familiar faces included in the poll, including DPD, Yodel, Parcelforce, Hermes and Royal Mail Parcels. So what did everyone think? Who came out on top? And who has scarred online shoppers for life?

Advertisment

Yodel

Delivery firm to a lot of major companies including ASOS and Amazon, Yodel didn’t do so well in the revealing poll, coming out as the worst delivery firm, according to customers. A whopping six in ten people that took part in the survey voted the company’s delivery efforts as ‘poor’. The customers had all had parcels delivered by Yodel within the last year. The poll, dubbed the league of shame’ showed that Yodel had a poor rating of 4, 275 votes which was a huge 57% of voters, a quarter then rated the service as just ‘ok’ and only one in five actually declared it as ‘great’. To make matters worse, the firm was voted the third worst in the UK the previous year which means it has only gone from bad to worse – with customers dreading a delivery from the company with the unmistakable bright green vans. When asked to comment on the results of the poll, Yodel said that they were disappointed by the outcome and hope to improve. Hmmm.

Hermes

Voted in the bottom five, it seems Hermes haven’t had a great year, not only when it comes to customer service, but also for the treatment of their staff. They have also recently been under fire for paying their workers less than the ‘National Living Wage’ and are currently being investigated. Reports have also emerged of their staff ‘throwing’ expensive items over fences and the like. Still, 30% of voters still gave them a ‘great’ rating which puts them in a fairly middle ground.

Advertisment
Advertisment

Royal Mail Parcels

Receiving a great rating of 49%, Royal Mail have come up trumps as the second best delivery firm of the year. Only 11% of voters recorded having a ‘poor’ experience with them, which means that they must definitely be doing something right. However, the good news comes just as Royal Mail’s sales take a tumble due to post-Brexit uncertainty. For the first nine months of the year, Royal Mail had flat revenue and although in line with expectations, the company has said they are definitely feeling the strain now that Britain has decided to leave the EU – with UK letter volumes being the hardest hit.

Parcelforce

Also scoring fairly highly, Parcelforce received a poor rating of just 13% (793 votes), an ‘ok’ rating of 46% and the remaining 41% were singing their praises. Parcelforce may have proved to be more of a good guy than a cowboy during the last year, but they have also had their fair share of scrutiny, including CCTV footage of a Parcelforce van driver smashing into a parked car and driving off. However, other than that they have proven to be a pretty reliable service all round, with online reviews even saying that they have delivered ahead of schedule. Of course, there are some bad ones out there as well, but we’ll leave the verdict up to you…

DPD

The winner of the Money Saving Expert poll, DPD has been crowned the best delivery service by its customers, showing that once again they have achieved a great level of customer satisfaction. The company have achieved the top spot for the fourth year in a row. A whopping 71% of voters rated the DPD service as ‘great’ meaning that their win was well and truly undisputed. Their success does not stop there either, as in recent years DPD has received a Queens Award for Innovation as well as a ‘Special Award’ from Which? The ultimate consumer voice. Their continuous success could be down to the introduction of their ‘YourDPD’ app which allows flexibility for all customers, allowing them to set their own delivery times, with ‘DPDPrecise’ allowing a time to be set within just one hour. DPD has also recently been taken on by major firms Sainsbury’s and Matalan.

23 British Christmas Foods Ranked From Worst to Best

Christmas-dinner

Christmas is the best time of year. On the day, we eat and we eat until we plonk down in front of the TV, only to continue to eating the leftovers later. Us Brits have plenty of festive foods that we love to gorge on, from the compulsory boxes of chocolates to a fridge full of food that taunts us for the whole of December. Now, we’re about to rank the British Christmas foods from worst to best, but please don’t send us hate mail, because we understand that love is blind, and what we hate here at Complaints Number, you may love. Remember the spirit of the season, and if you want to cover your Christmas dinner in bread sauce, or pile up the parsnips, that’s your choice.

Advertisment

23. Brussels Sprouts

brussel

A member of the cabbage family, sprouts are undoubtedly the blot on the landscape of a Christmas dinner. We didn’t like them when we were kids, and we still don’t like them now. Send those sprouts away!

22. Parsnips

parsnips

Let’s be honest. We’ve all bit into a parsnip thinking it was a roast potato, only to be terribly disappointed when the truth emerged. It’s a no from me, parsnips.

21. Nut roast

nut-roast

The centrepiece of every vegetarian’s Christmas dinner. We feel sorry for you veggies… in this modern world, surely there must be a better meat alternative than this?!

20. Chestnuts

chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are pretty much the staple of every Christmas market. They only really seem to pop out at Christmas and they even make their way into stuffing sometimes, the conniving little buggers.

19. Port

port

Port. Aka, cold mulled wine. If I’m going to drink a sweet red wine, I want to drink it warm.

18. Chocolate coins

chocolate-coins

Cute when you were younger, but now, all the chocolate coins just seem to taste cheap. Perhaps it’s due to Brexit…

17. Eggnog

eggnog

Milk, cream and whipped eggs. It has one outcome: sickly. We will stick to Baileys, thank you very much.

16. Christmas Pudding

christmas-pudding

You pour brandy over it and you set it on fire. It certainly looks like a showstopper, but the inside is just bitter.

15. Bread sauce

bread-sauce

Bread sauce. Aka the lumpy, white bowl on the edge of the table left to go cold. A poor man’s gravy, if you will.

14. Cranberry sauce

cranberry-sauce

If you listen closely, you can hear every supermarket in the land screaming ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!’ as I type. But, it’s true. You can put cranberry sauce in as many festive sandwiches and bakes as you like, and I’ll still say it’s not necessary with a Christmas dinner.

13. Christmas Cake

christmas-cake

Christmas Cake looks beautiful, covered in icing and festive decorations, but deep down, it’s just another fruitcake.

Advertisment

12. Trifle

trifle

If you leave the sherry in the bottle, trifle can be edible. But it’s still not our favourite Christmas dessert.

11. Carrot & swede mash

carrot-and-swede

Add butter and salt & pepper, and you’ve got yourself an ideal vegetable accompaniment to your Christmas dinner. None of those disgusting sprouts or pesky parsnips.

10. Mince Pies

mincepies

A supermarket must-have from October onwards, mince pies are perhaps one of the primary symbols of a British Christmas. Shout out to everyone who thought they actually had meat in them for an embarrassingly long time.

9. Tins of chocolate

celebrations

You know what I mean..the Heroes, Roses and Celebrations. They’re available year-round, but we like to save them for Christmas so we can fall asleep in front of the TV, only to wake up covered in the wrappings.

8. Yule Log

yule-log

Chocolate swiss roll, another year-round item. Only this time, it’s festively decorated. You win the dessert category,

7.  Mulled wine

mulled-wine

Only when you drink it from a souvenir mug at a Christmas market, though. It’s not the same when you make it yourself.

6. Pannetone

pannetone

A little bit of a underrated Christmas food, we feel. It comes from Italy and you can buy it in a cute little tin to give to your nan.

5. Cheese board

cheese-board

One of the best parts of Christmas Day is bringing out the cheese board when you have cleared a little space in your stomach, usually by around 9pm when the festive TV specials are on. Bonus points for the posh crackers to accompany it.

4. Turkey

turkey

We only eat turkey at Christmas, and for good reason, as it lasts for bloody ages doesn’t it? We’ve put turkey at number 4 solely for the leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches, though.

3. Stuffing

stuffing

Stuffing is an important aspect of any British roast dinner, but it truly comes into its own at Christmas when you can get those fancy mixes from Aldi, and of course when it sits next to the turkey on your leftovers sandwich.

2. Glazed ham

glazed-ham

Advertisment

Yes, we put a secondary meat ahead of the main type of Christmas meat, but with good reason. Whether you glaze with maple syrup, Coca-Cola, bourbon or honey, it’s just divine.

1. Pigs in Blankets

pigs-in-blankets

Pigs in blankets deserve every single bit of the hype that they get. Let’s be honest, we all become a pig in a blanket over the Christmas period. Not to be confused with the American version of pigs in blankets, which are actually sausage rolls, you hooligans.

Burger King Ditches Festive – They’re All About The Cheddar

Advertisment
Advertisment

Burger King have just released their Christmas menu, with a range of burgers and sides that delves deep into the Christmas spirit and brings us a selection of… cheeses?

Tha’s right, the Burger King Christmas Menu has been unleashed, and it hasn’t got a single bit of turkey, a stray cranberry or a crumb or stuffing anywhere on it. Instead, it’s all cheese – so much cheese you’ll need to sleep until the new year just to digest it all. The entire festive menu eschews traditional Christmas foods and embraces a massive homage to cheddar – even including a burger with a shocking orange bun and a patty made of four different kinds of cheese!

The Cheddar Collection, pictured above, features three new burgers, all of which are very heavy on the cheese, and a side, which is also, unsurprisingly, made of cheddar cheese.

The new range is, as described by Burger King themselves, “A response to our customers, who have been asking us for years to create a menu with stronger cheese flavours. The Cheddar Whopper, the Cheddar Tendercrisp and the Smokey BBQ Angus are all our ways to answer those customer requests and provide the thing they’ve always asked for – stronger cheese, and more of it.”

The main burger on the Christmas cheeseathon is the Cheddar Whopper – a quarter pounder beef burger based on the Whopper, Burger King’s signature burger and its highest-selling product. The Cheddar Whopper has the same award-winning Whopper burger patty, topped with a four-cheese “patty” of breaded cheeses, and then finished off with more cheese, some lettuce and tomato, a smothering of cheddar sauce, and a stunningly orange cheddar burger bun. It’s a dazzling burger with a suitably bright aesthetic, and for cheese lovers, it might just be the Christmas treat you’re looking for.

Say you want something closer to a traditional Christmas turkey, however. You want a roast turkey dinner, like Mum used to make, and you’ve decided that Burger King is the best place to get it. In that case, you might be disappointed by a lack of festive turkey, but you can go for the nearest edible equivalent and get chicken. The festive Christmas chicken offering at Burger King is the Chicken Tendercrisp, which has a more traditional bun, lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese sauce, on a crispy fried full chicken breast, and – you guessed it – a four-cheese breaded patty, a mighty slab of cheesy goodness that completes the burger and enriches the palate with various cheeses in very large quantities. The bright orange bun might be gone, but make no mistake – this burger is just as cheesy as its beef counterpart, the Cheddar Whopper.

The Smoky BBQ Angus Burger is the only new menu item that doesn’t feature co[pious amounts of cheddar, but make no mistake, it’s still a cheeseburger. Hitting up all the classic barbecue burger flavours of bacon, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and chargrilled beef burger with barbeque sauce, this burger will provides a break from the heavy cheese flavours for anyone who likes flavours that aren’t cheese.

Lastly, there are the Nacho Cheddar Bites, delicious cheese balls deep fried and served on the side, or on their own merit in a little bag.

However, while cheese lovers across the world have been uniting in their transcendent joy, crying their victory to the heavens, others have not been so happy about this “festive” menu.

Decrying it as “un-festive” and complaining about its lack of Christmas food staples like cranberries, roast potatoes, dried fruit puddings, turkey, brussels sprouts, stockings or pine trees, Christmas people have been decidedly unimpressed by the new cheese menu.

Comparing it unfavourably to Nandos and KFC, the Christmas People also chide the Burger chain for failing to adequately uphold the spirit of Christmas, like those other fast food chains did.  Both of those, claim the apparent elves at Santa’s Workshop, released Christmas burgers topped with a festive sauce, with KFC announcing the innovatively-named Christmas Burger, which features cranberry sauce, apparently the ingredient which determines whether a burger is “Christmassy” or not. The KFC burger goes one step further, however – it even includes a sage-and-onion flavoured mayonnaise, which really makes customers think that this fast food restaurant has given them an actual traditional Christmas dinner in a bun.

The Nandos offering, meanwhile approaches the Christmas food problem from a different angle, doubling down on its berry sauces. It has created the Peri-Berry Burger (a play on its signature peri-peri style of preparing chicken, a Portuguese speciality) and topped the Peri-Berry Burger with a sauce that contained not only cranberries (the gatekeeper of Christmas cuisine) but also raspberries and blueberries! A much more exotic take on a festive classic.

Neither KFC nor Nandos would take the complete plunge into serving turkey, but they are both chicken specialists, so I suppose we can’t accuse them of too much anti-festive Scroogery.

So to bring things back to Burger King, what did Gustavo Reichmann, the general manager of Burger King in the UK, have to say when he was accused of being a Grinch?

“Burger King is completely dedicated to creating, perfecting and providing the best possible food at affordable prices for all of our customers,” he says. “Our customers have asked for a cheese-based limited edition menu for years, and have been patient in what they were asking for, and now, with the Cheddar Collection, we’re finally able to include the cheese combinations that will suit any taste and really excite the fans of our great burgers.”

He finished his response with an important clarification;

“I’m not releasing this menu because I hate Christmas. Turkey is fine, cranberries are also fine. The spirit of Christmas is great. Honestly this Cheddar Menu doesn’t have much to do with Christmas, and I am definitely not a Grinch. I have never tried to steal anyone’s festive cheer, nor would I want to.”

So there you have it! The Cheddar Menu is available at participating Burger King stores until January.

Advertisment

Hermes Facing Low Pay Allegations

hermes courier

Investigations have revealed that workers for the delivery giant Hermes take home less than the National Living Wage in their pay packet, and the company is now being investigated by the HMRC compliance officers to see if findings are true. The National Living Wage was introduced earlier this year and stands at £7.20 per hour. The law states that any worker aged 25 or over should receive the National Living Wage. Investigations into worker’s pay at Hermes, conducted by The Guardian, revealed that self-employed workers, working for Hermes and delivering to major retailers such as Next and John Lewis were earning less than minimum wage. As part of their contract to work for Hermes, they are registered as self-employed. Many workers have complained to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee that being registered this way means that they miss out on basic worker’s rights including no paid holiday and no sick pay. If they fell ill, they risked losing a large amount of work, putting them under considerable strain and pressure. There were calls from the workers themselves to be considered as actual employees rather than self-employed due to unfair treatment.

Advertisment

False Self-Employment

Despite it giving a huge disadvantage, Hermes have defended their actions by saying that HMRC granted them permission back in 2011 to register their workers as self-employed, and even goes as far as to say that they are committed to ensuring that their workers receive a wage that is equivalent to or higher than the National Living Wage. So where have the claims come from? And why has the investigation found otherwise? There seems to be a stigma surrounding the term ‘self-employed’ when it is under a bigger company but HMRC’s executive chairman Edward Troup has categorically said that there now will be no individuals that are opted out of employment rights and protections, simply because they have been branded with the ‘self-employed’ title and they are committed to tackling anyone that has suffered under this title, with Hermes or anywhere. HMRC has branded being treated unfairly under the self-employment label as ‘false self-employment’ and will now take ‘strong action’ against companies that, to save themselves money, have forced their staff to work as self-employed and in turn deny them employment rights and benefits of which they are entitled. There is no longer room for any companies that try and avoid paying minimum wage by labeling their employers.

After being named and shamed, Hermes invited its couriers who believed that they were being underpaid to undergo a review of their parcel rate. Whilst this may have seemed like a positive move in the right direction, there have been reports of couriers that have written to Hermes taking up their offer for a review and hearing nothing back in the six weeks since they have written, meaning they are left to struggle on extremely little pay. Although Hermes continues to claim that there is a system in place for all of those that wish to escalate a complaint further, but it does not seem to work. Alternatively, if a worker wishes to escalate their complaint to the ombudsman, they will always accept the final decision.

Advertisment

Brighter Future?

The face that HMRC has taken the claims of unfair worker treatment as seriously as it has shows that the future is definitely brighter when it comes to worker’s rights. The bigger picture includes not just Hermes, but a whole host of companies that think its ok to give their workers inadequate payment and HMRC has finally shown that they will no longer tolerate it. The decline in trade union membership has perhaps made it easier for a company to exploit its workers in recent years . Gone are the well-paid union members and instead there is staff that recognise the insecurity of their job, have unstable contracts and are therefore afraid to say anything when treated wrongly for fear that they might end up unemployed altogether. Self-employment has recently become something that it once wasn’t, a last resort after losing a job and having no alternative and therefore open to employers that take advantage. This means that many people these days who are self-employed in the so-called ‘gig’ economy, are just about ‘managing’ as a result of exploitation.

Advertisment

Further Unrest

This action taken by HMRC against Hermes should serve as a warning to other companies that their actions will now no longer be tolerated, even if they had gotten away with exploitation in the past. Hermes have also been in the news after a delivery driver would tactfully steal parcels allocated to other drivers, and sell them on eBay. Failing to investigate properly, the company wrongfully sacked drivers. As a result of the driver’s actions, Hermes has £18, 000 worth of missing parcel claims. The offender was sentenced to thirty-two months in prison.