A Raleigh, North Carolina, Bruegger’s Bagels unit has raised the bar for what’s possible in the site-selection process.
Daniel P. Smith
Daniel P. Smith is a regular contributor to <i>QSR.</i>
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Last year, activists in California collected 1 million signatures to put the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the November 2012 ballot. Named Proposition 37, the measure sought to make California the nation’s first state to require the labeling of foods that included genetically modified organisms (GMO).
Food trucks are going to school, and the Galloping Griz is among the latest to enroll.
The University of Montana’s mobile kitchen—which debuted last spring with a $167,000 price tag—provides late-night dishes, namely Mexican-style street food, to the university’s flagship campus in Missoula. It also serves breakfast and lunch offerings to a satellite campus located just five miles away.
Mark LoParco, director of university dining services, discusses the decision to invest in a food truck and the opportunities a mobile eatery brings.
The tale of Andrew and Peggy Cherng reads a bit like a classic American story. The two immigrated to the U.S., began dating in college, married, raised three children, and pursued professional and personal success by opening their own business.
Of course, not every classic American story spawns a $2 billion, family-run enterprise.
After holding various positions in the Darden enterprise and managing a Chicago-area Panera Bread, Ed O’Brien tired of working for others. Eager to become his own boss, O’Brien opened Bountiful Eatery in July 2012.
Sandwiched between an ice cream shop and a pizza parlor, the Chicago-based restaurant offers a gluten-free menu of pita wraps filled with fresh produce, as well as an assortment of soups, stews, and chili made with seasonal ingredients.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, down the block from a McDonald’s and around the corner from a Jason’s Deli, Whataburger store No. 304 on Peoria Avenue features the same iconic, orange-and-white, A-frame exterior as nearly every other restaurant in the 740-unit Whataburger system. It serves the same quarter-pound hamburgers on five-inch buns, and its people inside display the same friendly demeanor that has catapulted the Whataburger brand through seven decades.
It’s back and bigger than ever. Now in its fourth year, our “Best Franchise Deals” report has become the can’t-miss list of top quick-service and fast-casual franchises, assessing factors such as investment-to-sales ratio, marketplace differentiation, corporate support to franchisees, and positive brand momentum.
What do you get when you combine a satellite dish, a stockpot, a broccoli steamer, and a car jack? The origins of Solar Roast Coffee, a Pueblo, Colorado–based outlet serving solar power–roasted coffee.
Initially more of a science project than a business concept, brothers Mike and David Hartkop founded Solar Roast in Oregon in 2004 after creating a one-pound roaster from the aforementioned spare parts. After three years of selling their beans online and to wholesale accounts, the brothers took their act to Colorado in 2007.
When George Michel took the chief executive reins at Boston Market in October 2010, he inherited a concept with a tumultuous 25-year history that included bankruptcy, a headline-grabbing purchase—and subsequent sale—by McDonald’s, uneven numbers, and fading consumer interest.
In no time, though, Michel instituted a number of changes to stabilize Boston Market, including one unusual initiative: making interaction with restaurant guests one of his top priorities. “Being close to the customer is critically important,” he says. “I get to learn what they value, what they appreciate.”
Inside Smashburger’s newest Chicago-area restaurant, a hip-looking joint in the city’s trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, company founder and chief concept officer Tom Ryan holds up the brand’s Windy City Burger as if it’s Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Packed with layers of melted Cheddar cheese, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard on a pretzel bun, the Windy City Burger is the fast-casual chain’s exclusive offering for the Chicago market and continues Smashburger’s six-year run of creating local burgers across its 209-store national footprint.