Employee wages have perhaps never been as much of a hot-button issue in the quick-service industry as they are today. Labor unions are trying to organize workers to fight for better wages, and fast-food employees have been striking in several cities across the U.S. this year.
Modern Italian cuisine is the next big thing in fast casual. Or at least, that’s what some major quick-service operators are banking on.
Fazoli’s and Sbarro each plan to debut a fast-casual Italian concept in the near future, following in the footsteps of successful regional brands fusing popular Italian dishes like pasta and pizza with the growing trend toward premium ingredients and customization.
Quick-service operators increasingly have the ability to target their customers right where they are. The industry’s use of mobile marketing has grown exponentially over the last two years, and marketers are projected to spend $1.2 billion on mobile display advertising (not including smartphone apps, mobile coupons, and other mobile ads) by 2014, according to eMarketer.
The city of Winter Park, Florida, was in a quandary. Up-and-coming fast-casual concepts Firehouse Subs and BurgerFi wanted to move into the town’s upscale dining and shopping district, Park Avenue, but business owners and city officials were worried that the posh image would become tarnished with the addition of limited-service operators.
As a compromise, the two brands did something unusual in the quick-service industry: They added table-service components.
Burger King hopes its new delivery service will be a great profit-driver for the chain, as the company is banking on customers to put in large orders for office lunches, birthday parties, and other gatherings in the select cities where the service is offered.
But it may not be the only brand with a careful eye on the BK Delivers service. Other non-pizza quick serves might be hoping for its success to validate investing in the space, which could open new sales opportunities in urban communities.
As soon as he learned about the April 15th Boston bombings, Dave Tucci, the New England area representative for Firehouse Subs’ DMA, called the Firehouse franchisee closest to the bombings.
Tucci was relieved to find out that all employees at Firehouse’s Copley Square location, just one mile away from the first blast, were OK. The store’s only damage was its sign, which was lying on the ground. Still, the atmosphere in the area was chaos.
In a sign that the economic landscape might finally be rebounding for quick serves, early results from Technomic’s upcoming “Top 500 Restaurant Chain” report reveal that the fastest-growing limited-service restaurant chains in the U.S. realized average sales increases of 22.3 percent between 2011 and 2012.
Hospitals and national quick-serve chains may seem odd bedfellows, but a new program in Orlando is pairing the two in an effort to promote healthy meals.
The seafood quick-service category has performed poorly in recent years, but budding fast-casual chains hope to capitalize on customers’ desire for healthier options and premium experiences to bring the category back to prominence.
Ivar’s Seafood Bar in Seattle, California Fish Grill in Los Angeles, Fish Express in Dallas, and Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Santa Ana, California, are a few of the up-and-coming fast-casual companies offering an alternative to quick-service stalwarts like Captain D’s and Long John Silver’s.