Judy Kneiszel

Mississippi-based Newk's Eatery offers homestyle classics.
March 2014

Mississippi-based fast casual enhances its menu and service experience.

Florida based fast casual Little Greek offers Mediterranean dishes like kebabs.
February 2014

Florida-based eatery adapts Mediterranean flavors to the American palate.

Piada serves Italian street food with Chipotle ingredient bar style model.
January 2014

Ohio-based concept brings Italian street food into the fast-casual setting.

September 2012

Tin Drum AsiaCafé is rooted in tradition, but focused on innovation.

Steven Chan, founder of Tin Drum, says the quick-serve Pan-Asian concept is named after the tin drummer, who in ancient cultures served as the local newscaster and wake-up caller. Each morning, he walked the streets...

August 2012

Zoës Kitchen started the way many mom and pop restaurants do. Zoë Cassimus made her grandmother’s chicken salad recipe for social gatherings, and family and friends told her she should open her own place. So she did.

It grew into an 18-restaurant chain before Cassimus sold it in...

August 2012

Bullritos is a quick-serve Tex-Mex concept created by Russell Ybarra, owner of two Houston-based full-service chains, Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen and Jimmy Changas.

The name was inspired by Ybarra’s experience running with the bulls through the streets of Pamplona, Spain. While...

July 2012

Mike Liautaud, president and founder of Milio’s Sandwiches, says when it comes down to it, he and his sandwich competitors are all “just putting lunch meat on bread.” But something else helped grow his concept from a single sandwich shop near the University of Wisconsin campus...

June 2012

There’s been no lack of new faces and places on the frozen dessert landscape in the past 10 years, but with innovative flavors like Wildberry Lavender ice cream and Riesling Poached Pear sorbet, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams stands out in the crowd.

In 2000, Jeni Britton Bauer...

May 2012

Appeasing the nation’s growing taste for Mediterranean and healthy-but-delicious meals, and doing so in a quick-serve format, has proved a winning combination for Roti Mediterranean Grill.

“We explored what was available around the country in this type of food,” says...

May 2012

When asked what makes Russo’s New York Pizzeria stand out from the competition, CEO Anthony Russo says without hesitation: “The right ingredients.”

“Our product is totally different because our sauce is made differently,” Russo says. “Other chains use...

April 2012

Yogurtland offers dozens of frozen yogurt flavors, such as citrus varieties like Blackberry Lemon Mint Tart, Blood Orange Tart, and Key Lime Bar Tart, to diners who can’t seem to get enough of the fro-yo craze.

With 16 flavors and more than 30 toppings available at any given time,...

March 2012

Not all of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations are near college campuses, but that’s how the chain got its start, and college towns are still a preferred destination for the purveyor of Baja Tacos and Jumbo Burritos.

“We offer generous portions at a fair price,” says Paul...

February 2012

Sushi concept How Do You Roll? is hitting its stride, growing to seven locations since opening in late 2008, with plans for 20 more stores in 2012.

“The first seven are all in Texas,” says cofounder and CEO Yuen Yung. “And we will soon be in California, Florida, and...

January 2012

Umami Burger has been causing a stir in Southern California since its inception in 2009 because its burgers are made from freshly ground beef, soft buns, and something extra: umami, or “the fifth taste.” In fact, just a little more than a year after the concept was launched, GQ named...

December 2011

With four salsas and 12 sauces to choose from, diners at Hot Head Burritos can control the degree of spiciness in their food with a great degree of precision.

“We have really expanded on our sauces,” says Ray Wiley, who started Hot Head Burritos with his wife Cynde almost five...

Formality is being phased out at a Kansas City, Missouri–based quick-serve chain. Customers will no longer have to use a courtesy title when addressing Mr. Goodcents.

The 96-unit sandwich concept, with locations in nine states, is undergoing a rebranding, which includes changing its...

November 2011

The idea that there was a void between small mom and pop coffee shops and Starbucks helped launch the Saxbys Coffee concept in 2005.

“We saw that gourmet coffee was a booming concept, and that Starbucks was creating an industry and really driving up quality expectations,” says...

October 2011

Mauricio Acevedo, CEO of BannaStrow’s Crêpes & Coffee, sees the growing chain as the final frontier of the quick-serve industry, because crêpes can go where no cuisine has gone before.

“Crêpes are easy to make and fast to make,” Acevedo says. “They can be made...

October 2011

Eric Ersher got his start in the restaurant business by coming through the back door, first with a spice business, then a wholesale soup business.

“I saw what kind of soup they were making, and a lot of times it was an afterthought—a way to use leftovers,” he says.

September 2011

Health-conscious consumers can get an on-the-go fruit fix in myriad ways at the growing number of Emerald City Smoothie locations—from an Apple Andie to a Zesty Lemon and every fruit in between.

Founded in Seattle in 1996, Emerald City Smoothie has locations in Washington, Oregon,...

August 2011

One of the first things John Eucalitto and Bill Chemero learned when they partnered with Jake’s Hamburgers founder John Carter to form Jake’s Franchising LLC in 2009 was how many Jakes there were in the world.

“While negotiating and discussing Jake’s Hamburgers,...

August 2011

The idea for Wing Zone was hatched in a fraternity house in 1991, but the first store didn’t open until two years later. Take-out and delivery wings were the brainstorm of fraternity brothers Matt Friedman and Adam Scott, who, while studying at the University of Florida, wanted to feed...

July 2011

Adrie Groeneweg grew up with Pizza Ranch, but not as a customer. Rather, Groeneweg started the company when he was just 19 years old, and both he and the concept have come of age together.

“I was just out of high school and working full time for a welder and part time for a pizza...