Chipotle

Interpreting the Top 100

Every year, many of us anxiously await the release of Technomic’s Fast Casual Top 100 report. Technomic’s Darren Tristano, one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, gave me an interview and a sneak peek at the report. Here are his thoughts, followed by a few of my own.

Darren, what is the size of the fast-casual segment (2010)?

Would Your Crew Wear Mobile Ads?

When Superior Uniform Group (sug) began manufacturing uniforms in 1920, chances are no one in the company ever thought it would launch a media division more than nine decades later. But in a sign of the times—in which more businesses than not are undergoing major technological transformations and industries are bleeding into one another like clothes in a hot wash—this is exactly what SUG did when it launched everyBODY media in early March.

Exclusive First Peek! Fast-Casual Top 100

Last week QSR's in-house fast-casual expert, George Green, snagged the interview of the season with Darren Tristano, executive vice president at leading research firm Technomic. Not only did he get Tristano's coveted insight on the fast-casual industry, he gained exclusive access to the highly anticipated Fast Casual Top 100 Report.

Below is Green's first-hand account of his time with Tristano as well as his own analysis of the study, which comes out next week.

Who’s Working in Your Kitchen?

Recent crackdowns signal to restaurant operators that the government is ready to end illegal hiring.

Recent government crackdowns on Chipotle and Pei Wei that forced both concepts to at least temporarily close locations have reminded restaurant operators that the government is taking illegal immigration very seriously.

The two incidents, in which illegal immigrants were found to be in each quick serve’s employ, came almost two years after the Obama administration decided to rein in the employers who hired illegal immigrants rather than go after the employees themselves, which had been the primary strategy up to that point.

Elite Chipotle Club Adds 200th Member

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran announced the promotion of the company’s 200th Restaurateur, a position reserved for its most elite restaurant managers who are all hand-picked by the CEOs. Chipotle’s Restaurateurs are powerful leaders who know how to create positive restaurant experiences by building a culture of empowered top performers who are consistently achieving high standards.

Chipotle Reveals Asian Concept

Chipotle Mexican Grill unveiled additional details for its new restaurant concept slated to open this summer. The concept, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, is inspired by the traditional shophouses found throughout Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Shophouses are classical two- or three-story buildings where families live upstairs and run restaurants or fresh markets on the ground level.

Chipotle Chooses Rokkan for Digital Campaign

Chipotle Mexican Grill has chosen Rokkan, a New York-based digital agency, for several digital marketing and brand awareness initiatives for 2011.

With nearly 1,100 restaurants, Chipotle's mission to serve "Food with Integrity" has become a bigger part of its marketing and is now the focus of most of the company's communication, from its advertising to the in-store packaging and corporate website.

How to Spot a Good (& Bad) Brand Extension

What do Bic underwear, Harley-Davidson wine coolers, and Jamba Juice soup have in common? They’re all ways companies have tried to extend their brands—and they all failed.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the rough and manly image of the Harley brand wouldn’t fit with the light and girly product attributes of a wine cooler, but the fates of other brand extensions are harder to predict.

What Happened to Table Service?

In many cases, it’s a different consumer out there today deciding where to dine when the urge hits. Throughout the recession, full-service restaurants offered so many fire-sale bargains that those little affected by the economy could almost feel guilty for practically stealing meals when they would have just as willingly paid regular price.

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