Sarah Protzman Howlett

Healthy Surroundings

A study sponsored by CKE brand Hardee’s revealed a correlation between a restaurant’s interior design and its customers’ healthy dining habits.

While the study, “Music & Light,” was conducted at Cornell University’s Food and Brand lab in Ithaca, New York, in 2002, Hardee’s had exclusive use of the findings for 10 years, and it was published by lab director Dr. Brian Wansink in 2012.

Wansink details how his team gave a Hardee’s location in Champaign, Illinois, a casual-dining makeover in one sealed-off room to compare guest experiences.

The Franchise Fix

Operators get creative with their franchising efforts in 2013.

Cousins Subs is launching a new multiunit franchisee program in 2013.
Cousins Subs is launching a new multiunit franchisee program in 2013.

Whether they’re attending trade shows or paying visits to existing franchisees, quick-service operators still rely on boots-on-the-ground approaches to recruiting new franchisees. But with the economy still struggling to take off, some brand executives say a little creativity is also needed to attract talented, driven people in 2013.

David Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger, says his company is taking a holistic approach to franchising this year, combining high visibility at trade shows and booking time with promising referrals.