Julie Knudson

Quick service brands grow local produce to use in their fast food restaurants.
March 2014

Hyper-local sourcing brings food production in-house.

November 2013

Partnering with family members gives women greater resources, wider perspectives.

Female fast food leaders like Judy Camarena carry on family legacies.
October 2013

Women leave lasting legacies at their family-owned brands.

Most quick-service operators are secretive about the recipes for their menu items. Some even turn their secrecy into a marketing strength; KFC, for example, is famously tight-lipped about the 11 herbs and spices in its...

September 2013

For many women in the foodservice and limited-service industries, starting off in entry-level positions—whether in a specific restaurant or a corporate office—is a natural move. But rising up the ladder through years of hard work, discipline, and a certain amount of risk-taking is...

August 2013

Legions of moms are blogging—4 million of them in the U.S. alone, says Wendy Hirschhorn, CEO of New York City–based Wendy’s Bloggers, an organization that connects marketers with bloggers. But even though these bloggers wield significant influence with other moms, quick serves...

July 2013

Many women who reach the upper ranks of foodservice leadership owe much of their progress to supporters who have advocated for them over the years. And as more women strive to advance in the industry, they’re finding that these supporters—what the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF...

June 2013

The foodservice industry has come a long way since the days when it was dominated by men, with more than half of the restaurant talent pool now made up of women. From the front counter to the corner office, women are increasingly influencing the future of the industry.

May 2013

Starting any business can be a difficult prospect, but in an industry where men have historically outnumbered women, the roadblocks to doing so can be even more challenging when you’re female.

For many female foodservice entrepreneurs, being taken seriously as a business owner is...

April 2013

Though research and development used to be an old boys’ club in the limited-service industry, the tables are slowly starting to turn.

As quick serves and fast casuals expand their gender horizons both in the C-suite and beyond, more women are leading R&D efforts and bringing...

March 2013

More women enter the foodservice industry every year, and they’re being met with a growing wealth of experience and support from which they can draw. A number of networking and leadership development groups have taken on the task of providing stronger gender diversity at all levels of the...

February 2013

No longer do women have to choose between a career and motherhood. But finding time to work and have a successful foodservice career—while also raising kids and staying in tune with a busy family—can be a daunting challenge.

“The restaurants are very important to us, but...

January 2013

In the spirit of QSR’s Year of Women in Foodservice initiative, we’re dedicating a monthly section to recognizing the issues that affect women in foodservice and the contributions they make in our industry. If you know a woman with an inspiring story to share or an issue you...

December 2012

Everyone in a company has a cause that’s close to his or her heart, but it’s the CEO’s job to select a charitable partner that connects with those who matter most—the customers—while balancing employees’ interests.

November 2012

Ask a quick-serve industry analyst about the latest in fast-food trends, and he might point you to fast casual, healthy eating, fresh food, sustainability, and celebrity chefs.

November 2012

When things get busy in the C-suite, people can become so focused on their own areas of responsibility that communication streams slow to a trickle and walls form around one or more departments. These silos—where individuals or even entire functional groups turn inward—can be...

October 2012

Setting strategic objectives, visiting stores, developing franchisee relationships, building a strong organization, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders—CEOs have a lot of responsibilities on their plate. But several chief executives manage to add one very helpful task to their to-do list:...

September 2012

After opening his first store in 2004, EJ Martinez, founder of Miami-based Power Pizzeria, ran into trouble almost right away.

“I had a great idea, which was to serve a healthier pizza, and I just started without really knowing what I was doing,” he says. Although he had a...

August 2012

While many quick-serve companies turn to actors or celebrities to star in their marketing campaigns, some are finding just as much success by putting their chief executive in front of a camera. In fact, new research from TV analytics firm Ace Metrix shows that commercials featuring CEOs...

July 2012

They say the only thing you can count on is change. That adage is especially true in the quick-service C-suite, where new career opportunities can leave a company without its top executive at any time.

This year has already witnessed a slew of CEO shake-ups, perhaps none as significant as...

June 2012

“Growth has killed many brands.”

Those words, from Corner Bakery Café’s CEO Mike Hislop, sum up a problem that several quick-serve CEOs face: Expanding a business is a natural desire for most executives, but growing it beyond one or two stores without compromising its...

May 2012

Gaining insight into what makes their competitors tick can give quick-serve executives valuable strategic advantages. But while sharing competitive information might seem counterintuitive to the industry’s top CEOs, some companies have found that throwing open their doors and inviting...

April 2012

Quick-serve executives have a wide range of leadership strategies. While some believe that leading from behind the doors of their corner office is a suitable way to grow a business, others have found that the only path to success is leading by example and inspiring employees to be the best they...