Lighter menu offerings at restaurants long ago moved from being a nice option for health-conscious customers to being the expectation of a sizeable chunk of the population. Increased consumer demand for more nutritious dining choices has sparked an industry-wide movement toward health-focused menu development.
La Brea Bakery rebranded itself for the first time in 25 years, updating its logo, packaging, and café to reflect its expanding vision while also doubling down on its commitment to supply fresh bread both to foodservice companies and consumers.
La Brea, which was originally built to supply a single restaurant and is now the largest artisanal bakery in the U.S., supplies restaurants and food retail around the world with fresh breads. It also operates two cafés and licenses a quick-service concept with sandwiches and baked goods.
Baked goods have been a staple in the quick-serve industry for decades, but innovation in the space has boomed as several operators step up their a.m. offerings to compete in that increasingly lucrative daypart.
Coffee concepts are a natural fit for baked goods. In addition to a morning cup of java, many customers anticipate a variety of baked breakfast items behind the bakery glass case, from syrupy sweet cinnamon rolls to savory crusted quiche.
When it comes to all-American food like salads, sandwiches, and burgers, we all have our own version of perfect.
Assembly-line quick-service concepts are making sure customers have the ability to create that perfect menu item. By offering an array of fresh, quality ingredients—from conventional to gourmet—with the option to start from scratch or customize an existing menu item, build-your-own brands are introducing flavors and flavor combinations that engage, entice, and satisfy every palate.
Superfoods have swept the culinary world into a frenzy, enticing consumers with a taste of the exotic and courting them with nutrition and functionality, to the point where restaurants across the country are trying to stake a claim in this fledgling movement.
Quick-service restaurants are keeping in stride, and many have ventured beyond the common açai and goji berry superfruits, as well as the kale super vegetable. Many quick serves are now leveraging a wider spectrum of superfoods, using whole grains, nuts, and seeds in fresh and innovative ways.
Once a branding premium, going green has become a common business strategy influencing nearly every decision in the manufacturing and retail industries.
But many quick-service operators, struggling with tight margins and looking for cost effectiveness, remain hesitant at diving head first into the sustainability movement.
“The idea of green restaurants is still pretty new,” says Florian Pfahler, founder of Hannah’s Bretzel, the self-proclaimed “greenest sandwich shop in Chicago.”
The economy may still be sputtering, but the Franchise Business Review’s (FBR) 2012 annual report, “Top 40 Food Franchises,” found that profitability is up for many foodservice brands.
Average franchisee profitability at the top 40 food brands increased 5.8 percent year-over-year in the last 18 months, according to the report. Those brands had a 15 percent higher profitability than the rest of the food franchise category, and 33.2 percent higher profitability than the total franchise average.
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Localita & The Badasserie may be tucked into the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles, and might even be the smallest quick serve in the world (Guinness is looking into it). But the four-week-old, 80-square-foot hole in the wall is quickly proving that even an eco-conscious restaurant with an all-vegan menu and tiny footprint can make a big impression on consumers.
Just one year into the National Pork Board’s “Be Inspired” campaign, chefs and operators have taken the challenge to heart and debuted innovative pork offerings throughout the foodservice industry.
The culinary ingenuity was showcased at this year’s Pork Summit, hosted by the National Pork Board at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in California’s Napa Valley. The second-annual, invitation-only event featured chefs showcasing all of the latest pork trends for operators and other culinary professionals.
According to a new report released by Franchise Business Review, Auntie Anne’s is No. 1 on the “Top 30 Food Franchises” list. One executive at Auntie Anne’s says an intense focus on supporting the people of the brand helps sustain strong satisfaction levels.
“Our focus is on our people because we genuinely care about our franchise partners, we care that their business is successful, and we care that they have the right location, the best equipment, and a sound marketing plan,” says Mele Sarmiento, director of franchise sales and development for Auntie Anne’s.