Not the Same Old Thing

When you’re a quick-serve executive for a brand with decades of history, it can be hard to change with the times while retaining a connection with loyal, longtime customers. But, as in all things, evolution is necessary in the restaurant business, and a brand refresh that touches all aspects of a concept can propel growth. The key, the experts say, is striking a balance between old and new, and then tracking the progress.

The Quest for Viral

At Arby’s, it was “legendary detective” Bo Dietl delivering a meat slicer to a competitor’s drive-thru window, reminding viewers and Arby’s fans that many competitors don’t slice on site. At Quiznos, it was a look-alike of famed gymnastics coach Béla Károlyi rating its Chicken Bacon Dipper sandwich as it sailed through the air and landed in a container of dipping sauce.

For both quick-service brands, these scenes, captured in video for TV and online audiences, successfully made fans laugh and created brand awareness, drove traffic, and inspired others to share.

A Six-Second Connection

Imagine a marketing campaign that’s created in five days and launched with minimal cost, a campaign that generates buzz and leads to an increase in sales. Too good to be true? Not at all; it’s marketing on Vine.

A&W Restaurants launched its Mini Polar Swirls in April through Vine, a social media application that invites users to create and share six-second video clips.

A&W Looks For Second Round of Growth

As a 94-year-old brand, A&W Restaurants has seen a lot of ups and downs over its history. But after being purchased by Yum! Brands in 2002 and then let go by the company in late 2011, the chain has faced one of the biggest uphill battles it’s ever seen.

Cut off from Yum!’s sophisticated franchise management systems, the brand was left with what COO Paul Martino calls an “archaic” spreadsheet system that loosely kept up with everything from franchisee contracts to communication logs.

UFPC Renames Contracter Connection Division

Dale Holden, senior vice president of Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op (UFPC), announced that UFPC Contractor Connection, a value-added services program for restaurant owners since 2009, will be renamed UFPC Facilities Connection.

UFPC Contractor Connection, a construction products and services business, has been a strategic partner of UFPC Equipment Sales since its initial inception in 2009.

Pal's Sudden Service Credited for Millions in Growth for A&W

One of Canada's fastest-growing quick-service restaurant chains, with more than 700 restaurants, has significantly reduced its drive-thru service times by 33 percent using what was learned at Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (BEI).  

As a result, A&W Canada has increased drive-thru sales by approximately $45 million dollars over the past few years since implementing procedures learned at Pal’s BEI. 

Group of Franchisees Completes Acquisition of A&W

A&W Restaurants Inc., founded in 1919, making it the oldest fast food company in the world, has been acquired by A Great American Brand LLC, a partnership of domestic and international A&W Restaurant franchisees, from YUM! Brands Inc.

Kevin Bazner, A&W chief executive officer, who was A&W Restaurants president from 1999 to 2003, announced the transaction from the new A&W headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Terms were not disclosed.

A&W, Harley-Davidson are Ready to Ride

A&W Restaurants, the 92 year old restaurant brand known for its famous A&W Draft Root Beer and All American Food Menu, is kicking off its "Rip to Ride" promotion, the largest in the chain's history.

Running through August 20, 2011, A&W customers who purchase an All American Combo Box, which includes a Papa Burger Single, regular french fries, and a large soft drink such as the freshly made A&W Draft Root Beer, will get a chance to win one of thousands of instant prizes being offered with a game piece on the food package.