Au Bon Pain

Strawberry Workshop Sparks Chefs' Creativity

To help inspire better-for-you menu options in chain restaurants, the California Strawberry Commission last week hosted a Culinary Workshop for select restaurant chain corporate chefs,menu developers, and buyers.

The two-and-a-half day event provided an in-depth look at the field-to-fork journey of California strawberries.

QSR 50 Contenders

Want to know which 15 brands are knocking on the QSR 50's door? Some are old favorites, others are new to the list, but they're all trying their hardest to climb their way into the Top 50 ranks.

51 McAlister’s Deli rank last year: 52

Pub-Style Protein Snacks

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.

BK Backs New National Kids Meal Program

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.

A Super-Sized Dilemma

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.

How to Improve Customer Service 'On the Spot'

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.

Blister Packs are Overrated

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. 

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