Keith Loria

Taking a Bite Out of Lunch

As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand.

Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts, and other breakfast goods have had to diversify their menus to get a larger share out of lunch. And industry experts believe that, even among breakfast-focused brands, the future of quick service rests in a successful balance of all-day dining options.

Always in Season

Running a quick-service restaurant often requires relying on seasonal employees who come from high school or college, or stay-at-home parents who work when school is in session. Many of these employees tend not to stick around for longer than a season, which means operators must constantly invest time and money in training a new crop of workers.

Reducing this sort of seasonal turnover is a struggle, but engaging temporary employees and offering the right kind of workplace incentives can keep them coming back year after year, human resources experts say.

The Art of Food Photography

They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers, which is why quick-serve restaurants spend a great deal of time, money, and effort to ensure their menuboards and promotional materials have images that resonate with their customers.

When it comes to choosing photos to represent a brand on a menuboard, one of the most important elements is to have pictures that display the food’s authenticity, experts say.

The Loyalty Advantage

Consumers increasingly look to cash in on loyalty programs, and a new report from business strategy adviser Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that savvy quick serves can capitalize on a data-collection strategy to ensure loyalty success.

“If you are a quick serve and don’t have [a loyalty program], you’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage,” says Dylan Bolden, a partner with BCG and co-author of the report.

To Russia, With Love

A new report by The NPD Group, which provides global foodservice market research, shows a 7 percent increase in foodservice visits in Russia over the last quarter of 2013, making it No. 1 in traffic growth among nations NPD tracks.

That’s a relief to American quick-service operators, who are headed to the country in large numbers despite a political environment that has grown tense in the last several months.

New Kind of Community Service

Commuters in the Boston area were treated to a friendly surprise earlier this year when McDonald’s workers stationed in a Boston subway station handed out free cups of coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwiches.

The giveaway, which was filmed, was part of a new localized campaign by McDonald’s franchisees in the New England area. Called the “Good Morning Campaign,” the giveaway provided footage for TV ads running in the market. More ad spots featuring giveaways in other locations across New England will run in the coming months.

Time for a Change

Quick-service CEOs love seeing their company climb to the top of the industry heap. But some leaders also like a good challenge and choose to walk away from successful brands for a new opportunity.

Making the switch can affect both companies involved, as well as the executive’s financial security. But some leaders have figured out a way to make sure all parties involved benefit from such changes.

Balance of Power

Quick-serve leaders have a lot of their plate, whether it’s finding ways to boost the brand’s growth or looking out for all of the people and operators in their care.

Still, for some CEOs, running the company isn’t the only thing they’re concerned about; they’re also focused on making their own units a success. Often starting as an operator and rising through the ranks, many quick-service executives have an extra stake in their brand by serving as a franchisee.

It Starts at the Top

Every successful brand relies not only on its leader to craft and execute a winning brand strategy, but also on its executive team members to keep the concept running smoothly. A savvy CEO understands that his or her fellow C-suite members must consistently be inspired to be the highest-quality, top-notch executives possible.

For Phillip Chang, CEO of frozen-yogurt chain Yogurtland, treating employees with dignity and respect is of the utmost importance when it comes to motivating his team. He also prioritizes setting a good example for his fellow executives to follow.

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