In an industry where domestic growth has been elusive, U.S.-based restaurant chains are attempting to evolve into truly global brands, reaching emerging markets where less industry saturation and competition exists. As chains seek to establish footholds in these untapped markets, they are challenged to strike a balance between maintaining their brand identities while tailoring menu items and service formats to local preferences.
Enter a Souplantation in New Mexico and you might be enticed to try a bowl of Posole Soup, a Southwestern concoction made with pork, chilies, and tomatoes. “It’s one of my absolute favorites, I always get it,” says Souplantation CEO Michael Mack.
However, despite being one of the CEO’s preferred dishes, you won’t find Posole Soup at any of the company’s 120 other locations around the U.S. because the word posole doesn’t market well outside of the Southwest.
It’s true that different brands excel at different things, be it in the area of nutritional offerings, customer service, or speed.
It’s true, too, with drive-thru service; some brands perform better than the rest. And this year the QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study focuses on seven brands as a benchmark group that have consistently, year after year, risen to the top of the heap in drive-thru performance.
Drive-thru performance was first studied in 1998 to gauge the speed and accuracy of fast feeders and encourage the industry to improve its service. And improve it did:
Burger King Corp. celebrates the end of the summer season with the launch of a new, premium soft serve dessert menu to satisfy every sweet tooth across the country. From now through October 9, guests who purchase a BK Value Meal at participating Burger King restaurants nationwide can top off their meal with a free soft serve cone or cup.
Despite the negative headlines that the fast food industry tends to generate, a new report shows that the vast majority of opinions about the industry on social media are positive.
A new study by New York City–based research firm Amplicate, “Public Opinion on Fast Food Chains in the U.S. on Social Media,” shows that 70 percent of all opinions posted about the industry on social media in the last year were positive.
Juan Alvarez, CEO of Amplicate, says his firm used a complex system to gather information across Twitter and Facebook about consumer sentiment.
Quaker Oats hit the quick-serve market Monday with Burger King’s addition of Quaker Oatmeal to its breakfast menu. The whole grain oatmeal is available nationally in all Burger King stores in two flavors.
The timing of the announcement is prudent. Competition has soared in 2011, as McDonald’s launched its breakfast oatmeal at the beginning of the year, and Chick-fil-A tossed its hat in the ring in July.
The top quick-serve and fast-casual brands in the nation.
Burger King Corp. is teaching the important skill of sharing with the rollout of BK Minis. These miniature sandwich packs put quality beef or white-meat chicken into tasty bites – making these minis the perfect size for sharing with friends and family. To satisfy every appetite, BK Minis are available, starting today, in four, eight and 12 packs at a suggested retail price of $2.99, $5.99 and $7.99, respectively, at participating restaurants nationwide.
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.
In the hands of the quick-service restaurant operator, price might be the ultimate weapon, the key ingredient to swing a customer and prompt a purchase in today’s dollar-conscious market.
And the quick-service industry knows it all too well, an awareness that has sparked a decades-long raging debate about what cheap food—a term used here to describe price rather than a judgment on food quality—does for a restaurant brand, its operators, and the consumer.