Jill Watral

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A Fresh Take on Transparency

Garden Fresh ambassadors interact with customers to share company’s supply story.
Quick service chains share story of food supply sources and farms.
Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg, left, joins “Broccoli Bob” Campbell to share the story about Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes' supply sources.

When Technomic released a study last year that researched transparency in the supply chain, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation CEO John Morberg took the data seriously. The study found that most consumers want restaurants to be more transparent about ingredients, and Morberg knew customers at Garden Fresh’s Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurants were no different.

The Five Guys Mistake

We’re in a really huge shift in the way we do second locations, and customers’ particular tastes have changed. You’re really seeing the customers’ tastes be that if he doesn’t want to go to the Ruby Tuesday, which is the same everywhere, or even the McDonald’s, the customer’s tastes are, “I want my uniqueness, I want my neighborhood feel, I want something special.” That’s why you’re seeing some real struggle with restaurants trying to go out and duplicate what they had and it not being successful. You also don’t want to duplicate exactly because it’s really hard to do.

Not-so-Full Service

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Our idea for the Denny’s Fresh Express came about a couple of years ago with a need to innovate the brand and to create a new concept for Denny’s that was built around portability. The Fresh Express is not only breakfast: It’s our whole line of burgers. It’s basically a grill right in front of the guest, so they can go up to a counter much like you do in a quick-serve venue.

Super Fans

Madison, Wisconsin, TCBY franchisee Saad Khalifa is on a first-name basis with his customers, especially those who visit his frozen yogurt shop regularly.

When Steve drives an hour and 35 minutes to the Madison TCBY, Khalifa is ready with the customer’s consistent order of two pies and about 10-12 quarts of ice cream. “And that’s just like clockwork every week,” Khalifa says. “He’ll call in two days ahead and we’ll get everything ready for him.”

Fans for Life

Quick serves find loyalty in the growing college crowd by opening on or near campuses.

The National Center for Education Statistics projects that by 2017 college
enrollment of people under 25 will rise 10 percent, making university
campuses and the college towns and cities that surround them ripe for
potential quick-serve expansion.

More than 200 of Subway’s 23,000 U.S. restaurants are located on college campuses, says Janet Bencivenga, the chain’s new business development account manager.