It’s no secret that there’s been a push from consumers for healthier options at quick-service restaurants. But what’s harder to determine is what kind of effect a healthy roll out will have on operators’ food budgets.
Au Bon Pain
Pub, gastropub, street food. It’s all hot, literally. These foods are playing a role in the growing trend toward protein-heavy mini-meals and snacks among both full-service and quick-service chains.
With snack foods taking hold in the last couple of years, proteins in portable form have allowed quick serves to both capitalize on the afternoon, between-lunch-and-dinner daypart and on the convenience more consumers seek. In some cases they also offer a healthy component as a filling, slow-burning fuel source compared with sugary or starchy snacks.
Brands No. 51-65 are fast-rising quick-service and fast-casual companies that just missed the QSR 50.
It wasn’t Bring Your Child to Work Day, but that’s certainly what it felt like at the launch of the National Restaurant Association’s new healthy kids menu initiative “Kids LiveWell” in Washington, D.C., today.
Children and parents filled the room at the National Press Club, enjoying the new menu items introduced as part of the initiative.
As someone who has always been proud of the opportunities our industry has provided to women and minorities, I have been disappointed by the small number of women I have seen at industry conferences, especially those with a high number of attendees from the fast-casual and quick-service segments.
In 2004, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock released a documentary, Super Size Me, that made waves across the foodservice sector and among American consumers. By eating nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days and ordering the Super Sized version of a meal each time it was offered, Spurlock documented the negative physical toll an experiment like his could have on the human body.
Customer service is of the utmost importance to most restaurant brands, and in the age of technology like smartphones and iPads, some are finding that customer service can be improved just minutes after a guest visit.
Mobile systems provider On the Spot Systems’ survey solution, Survey on the Spot, is one tool that takes advantage of such technology to survey consumer opinion and send to operators almost instantaneously.
Back in the fall of 2007, I took the liberty in this space of calling for quick-serve operators to consider consigning standard-issue, blister-pack condiments to history’s dustbin.
The basis for this potentially unpopular position lay in my belief that while chains of all types had made enormous strides in quality, presentation, and variety over the last 10–15 years, condiments had evolved barely a whit.
A strong and well-executed commitment to the soup category can play a significant role in helping quick serves increase check averages, enhance their guests’ perceptions of the healthfulness of all of their offerings, and keep guests coming back. Here are just a few benefits of having a strong soup offering on the menu, as well as some observations on what many successful soup programs have in common.
Increase Check Averages
Never before has innovation been as essential to running a successful quick-serve restaurant concept.
During what has turned out to be the most daunting recession in our nation’s history, innovation has been the driving force for the concepts that are beating the odds.
Often, the inspiration for innovation comes from the top, and that certainly holds true for the following leaders, who were selected from a wide-ranging list of successful operators.