Laurel Nakkas

Birth of a Brand

What it takes in this day and age to develop a new brand, from conception to launch.

New fast food brands like Live Basil first start as innovative business ideas.
Employees at the first Live Basil unit work the line shortly after the restaurant opened.

It always starts with a simple idea.

For Brian Bailey at Ichor Restaurant Group, it began with the idea that Ohioans needed better barbecue. Six years after that idea initially took hold, Old Carolina Barbecue opened the doors to its first unit, in Canton, Ohio. The company later opened California-inspired Baja Pizzafish and will soon launch Smoke, a concept that draws inspiration from the smoked burgers served in Old Carolina and the sauces from Baja Pizzafish.

Africa: The Final Frontier?

They knew it wouldn’t be easy. Being the first U.S. quick serve to enter a foreign country always comes with a share of challenges.

But for Cinnabon’s executives, becoming the first U.S. franchise to open in Libya didn’t just include dealing with training and supply-chain difficulties. The brand also faced political instability that eventually resulted in a revolution.

Saving Face

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It’s common knowledge in retail industries: image is everything. And when it comes to an ever-evolving market like quick service, operators are finding that it’s more vital than ever to keep their image fresh, lest they get left behind and become outdated.

The trick to keeping a brand image up to date, experts say, is knowing when to update and doing so without losing the fundamental concept of the company. A brand image can be portrayed through logos, store designs, menuboards, graphics, and even packaging.

No Fan of Soda Ban

Operators wonder whether New York City’s ban on large sugary beverages will take hold in other jurisdictions.

Protesters speak out against Mayor Bloomberg's beverage ban at NYC City Hall.
Members of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg's beverage ban at City Hall in Manhattan.

New York City has been a trendsetter in health regulations the last few years, from its ban on trans fats to its restrictions on sodium. But many in the foodservice industry are hoping that the sugary beverage ban scheduled to take effect in March remains a New York specialty only.