Once a bankrupt city left for dead, Detroit is showing signs of becoming a hot destination for quick-service and fast-casual concepts. Where city blocks were once ghost towns, real estate developers today are building thriving centers for businesses and entertainment venues—and restaurant operators are excited to get on board.
Quick-service restaurants—along with retailers, hospitality firms, and other companies—are hiring more employees this holiday season than past holidays. Many restaurant operators are also paying those seasonal hires more than they did last year.
According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor jobs report, employers added 321,000 jobs in November, far surpassing estimates of 230,000. U.S. wages also rose an average of 9 cents per hour in November, 2.1 percent higher than a year ago.
Guests who walk into the Wetzel’s Pretzels store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California, will notice something different about the store. Its digital menuboards quickly switch from product photos and information to short animated films, not unlike the style of old Walt Disney shorts.
Fast-casual and quick-serve restaurants are not just banking on the same old flavors for this year’s Thanksgiving-focused limited-time offers (LTO). Many are featuring unique takes on turkey via salads, sandwiches, soups, and other dishes. Thanksgiving and holiday LTO desserts have gotten a new spin, too, from turkey-shaped frozen treats to gingerbread bars.
Instead of the standard turkey and cranberry sandwich pairing, Quiznos rolled out a Pesto Turkey Ciabatta Toastie sandwich with Mozzarella, basil pesto, tomatoes, lettuce, and red wine vinaigrette in early September.
Executives, store managers, and everyone else involved in a restaurant business dreads reading horrible online reviews of their company’s food, service, and atmosphere. But like them or not, reviews have become a significant part of the dining process, and recent research finds that review websites like Yelp! are an essential part of how consumers decide where to eat.
While most of his peers were attending football games and socializing on the weekends, Ryan Joy spent his teenage years working as many hours as he could at his dad’s Checkers franchise in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Today, Joy continues to put in hours for the Checkers/Rally’s brands, but it’s not working for his dad Craig Joy’s franchise, which was the first franchise in the Checkers/Rally’s system. It’s as the senior director of R&D and culinary for the company, a position in which he’s helped the company develop a number of pivotal new menu items.
According to a new study, Millennials have high standards when it comes to restaurant brands’ online presence. And if they don’t get the information they want, they take their business elsewhere.
Pumpkin has long reigned as king of the fall, but this year, limited-service brands are not just adding a pumpkin pastry and calling it a season. Instead, several quick-service and fast-casual concepts introduced non-pumpkin products and innovative spins on the pumpkin flavor, while also launching creative marketing campaigns to bring customers in the door.
The back-to-school season signals a return to more regular meal routines for families, and quick-service and fast-casual restaurants are working hard to be a part of those routines. Many limited-service brands are entrenching themselves in and around elementary schools, high schools, and the lucrative university market as students across the U.S. head back to school.
Limited-service brands today are increasingly trying to figure out how to effectively market to their older customers while continuing to attract Gen Y/Millennial (born between 1980 and 1994) and Gen Z (born after 1994) customers.