Kevin Hardy

Fast food brands launching public offerings signal health restaurant industry.
March 2014

Last year was a banner year for limited-service brands releasing initial public offerings. Analysts say that’s a sign of good things to come for the industry.

Domino's Pizza rolled out a new prototype with an enhanced store design.
February 2014

Innovative design and architecture are increasingly hallmarks of upstart quick-service and fast-casual brands.

Quick serve brands are using strong customer service to build drive thru sales.
October 2013

Speed and accuracy are essential, but good customer service could be the key to building sales in the drive thru.

August 2013

51

Einstein Bros. Bagels

rank last year: 47

With domestic sales down by about $12 million, Einstein Bros. Bagels fell out of the QSR 50 and tops the Contenders list for 2012. The brand has redesigned its options for value-conscious...

August 2013

At Jersey Mike’s Subs, it’s the little things that make a big difference. The real red wine vinegar used on sandwiches. The freshly sliced meats and cheeses. The store-baked bread and the made-to-order cheesesteaks on the grill.

Jersey Mike’s leaders say those small...

July 2013

The history books detailing the recent Great Recession will include plenty of obvious chapters: the subprime mortgage crisis, Wall Street bailouts, housing bubbles, and skyrocketing unemployment. But those volumes might miss a less visible element of the economic collapse: the crippling credit...

June 2013

They seemed to pop up almost overnight. In strip malls and on street corners across the country, frozen-yogurt shops suddenly offered an exciting new option for America’s collective sweet tooth, teasing at healthfulness and innovating with self service and customization. Once concentrated...

It’s being compared to the Sims computer-game franchise and Facebook’s infamous Farmville game. But Subway’s new competition, which has participants creating their own virtual stores online, is handing out more than just token points; the program is also successfully engaging...

Quick-serve menus may start taking cues from the science lab as operators increasingly experiment with high-tech cooking methods like molecular gastronomy.

Molecular gastronomy, which blends technical food science and practical kitchen techniques, has been offered on exclusive fine-dining...

Though 2013 has just begun, restaurant operators should keep at least one eye on 2015, when new credit card standards will begin to reshape how most customers pay for goods and services.

By October 2015, all restaurants and other merchants will be subjected to new Europay, Mastercard, and...

December 2012

You might consider it a wake-up call. A data-hacking scheme recently targeted more than 100 Subway stores and stole more than $10 million from customer credit cards, putting the threat of data breaches back in the national spotlight and giving restaurants even more reason to pay attention to...

The breakfast and post-dinner dayparts have proved to be successful business extensions for many quick serves the last few years.

Now, some operators are testing another daypart: brunch.

Florida-based fast casual Salsa Fiesta added a brunch offering to its fresh, made-to-order...

Frozen-yogurt brands, like other frozen-dessert concepts before them, are staring down the harsh reality of slower sales during colder months. They’re also facing stiff competition from dozens of similar brands growing across the U.S.

Some fro-yo chains, however, are finding ways to...

Last year, you could find a dozen Auntie Anne’s pretzel stores in China. This year, you won’t find any.

After wading through one of the world’s biggest bureaucracies, all the while facing fierce competition and various cultural barriers, Wen-Szu Lin and his business...

Brand heritage is important, but Krystal president and CEO Doug Pendergast was thinking about practicality when he decided earlier this month to move the hamburger chain’s headquarters from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Atlanta.

The move, which is scheduled to take place by early 2013...

October 2012

On a recent visit to shop his competition, operator Thom Crosby saw disappointment after disappointment in the drive thru. Bad customer service while placing and paying for his order, poorly dressed employees, and backed-up cars plagued operation after operation.

But to Crosby, the...

Wahoo’s Fish Taco has always had a flare for the unusual. From the menu to the décor, the brand fuses fun and quirky characteristics with a cool atmosphere and image.

Now that football teams across the country are facing off in the NFL’s 2012 season, which kicked off last week, many quick serves are beginning a gridiron contest of their own.

Marketing and advertising efforts designed around the NFL are an increasingly hot commodity in the...

Multiunit franchising is becoming a common practice in the quick-service industry, but one Charley’s Grilled Subs franchisee wants to take it to the next level.

Mario Contreras wants to own 10 percent of his company’s entire system.

It’s clear that one of the most severe droughts in the nation’s history will affect food costs, but just how much and exactly when still remain to be seen.

While restaurants have grown accustomed to absorbing food-price swings, operators say this summer’s drought may...

August 2012

They like to say they’re “purposefully simple.”

But to Papa Murphy’s executives, the saying is more than just lip service. It’s a way of life and business for the growing company that has paved its own route to success in the pizza segment.

July 2012

Visually, the five interlocking rings that have become synonymous with the Olympic Games are fairly simple, but they deliver an iconic message. They speak to thrilling competition, achievement at the highest level, and the pride and patriotism of nations. The rings have come to be one of the...

It seems one quick-serve company may have found a way to beat the age-old challenge of being in more than one place at a time.

With the launch of two custom smartphone apps, owners and corporate officials at Edible Arrangements will be able to keep virtual watch over multiple stores at...