The menu-labeling mandate that will eventually require all chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menuboards was met with optimism that the restaurant industry had turned a new leaf in nutrition. But a recent study suggests there’s a lot of work to do before restaurants’ calorie counts can be trusted.
A four day-old baby, appropriately dubbed “Our Four Day Old Burrito,” was chosen as the winner of Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “Wrap What You Love” contest. The contest challenged the creativity of Chipotle’s customers who submitted photos of their favorite things wrapped in gold foil.
The company is celebrating its 18th anniversary by wrapping its burritos in gold foil instead of its signature aluminum foil to signify high quality ingredients that are “good as gold.”
Pop culture has not been kind to the quick-service industry.
From the lovable-but-dumb employees in Good Burger to the drug-addled protagonists of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, the industry is seen as a haven for dimwits, losers, and the vaguely criminal. Thousands of high school teachers threaten low-performing students by asking them, “Do you want to flip burgers for the rest of your life?”
A group of cartoon superheroes dubbed the Super Delicious Ingredient Force that lives in a “Fortress of Flavor” will never be the stars of a marketing campaign for Panera Bread. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells will never say that a $2.69 taco is expensive. And it’s highly unlikely that McDonald’s will issue a public statement thanking the Center for Science in the Public Interest for its legal action against Happy Meals.
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)?
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.
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.
You’ve heard of celebrity chefs entering the quick-service industry, but celebrity CEOs? Soon, they might be just as common. Take Chipotle’s Steve Ells, for example.
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.
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.