Culver's Announces New Vice President of Supply Chain

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Greg Schneider has been named vice president of supply chain management for Culver Franchising System.

Schneider comes to Culver's with more than 23 years of supply chain experience in the restaurant industry most recently with Buffets Inc. in Minnesota. For the past nine years he has held the position of vice president of purchasing and distribution, with overall responsibility for food and non-food purchasing and distribution.

Culver's Adds Udi's Gluten-Free Buns to the Menu

Fast-casual goers who have a gluten intolerance or wish to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, have a new reason to celebrate. Culver's will be able to ensure that all guests can enjoy the full Culver's experience—from ButterBurgers to Grilled Chicken Sandwiches—with a new gluten-free bun. The bun will be available in all Culver's restaurants by the end of March.

Illinois Location of Culver's Wins Crew Challenge

The Culver's restaurant in Bourbonnais, Illinois, is the winner of the 2014 Culver's Crew Challenge, which is designed to reward teamwork driven by great leadership and exceptional performance for Culver's guests. This was the second year of the chain's national competition with $50,000 to be shared among the restaurants' team members.

Culver's COO to Succeed Craig Culver as CEO

Phil Keiser, president and chief operating officer of Culver Franchising System Inc., will become chief executive officer and president, effective June 15, 2015. Under Keiser's leadership since 2003, the 535-restaurant chain has surpassed the $1 billion mark in system-wide sales and opened more than 330 restaurants across 22 states.

The Customer Service Five

It’s mid-September and Thom Crosby is on the road again. Every six months, Crosby, the CEO of Pal’s Sudden Service, a 26-unit chain with stores across Tennessee and Virginia, joins Pal’s founder Fred Barger for a road trip. The pair visit all 26 stores, leading quality and system audits at each stop.

“Everything from speed of service to friendliness at the window,” Crosby says.

For Culver's, Instagram Proves Powerful Marketing Platform

What do "Titanic," "Game of Thrones," and "Mary Poppins" all have in common? Each has served as the inspiration for Culver’s Community Theater, the fast-casual chain’s Instagram video campaign that’s reached more than 400,000 social media users.

“The 15-second videos are an Instagram first in approach—strategy, content, and video length were geared directly to the Instagram platform,” says Paul Pitas, director of PR and communications at Culver’s. “The videos are also highlighted on our Facebook, Twitter, on YouTube, and e-newsletter.”

Deep Dive

Quick-serve brands capitalize on seafood sales during Lent.

Quick serve Long John Silver's serves lobster bite option as special Lent offer.
Long John Silver's rolled out Norway Lobster Bites in time for the busy Lent season.

Recognizing the potential sales lift that seafood items produce during the Lenten season, many quick-serve chains are once again launching fish-based LTOs in preparation of Lent, which starts March 5. And with more pressure to stand out from an increasingly competitive field, many brands are enhancing their menu and marketing programs to get better exposure for their seafood LTOs.

This year’s more innovative seafood offerings include items like Mojo Fish Tacos from Tropical Smoothie Café and Norway Lobster Bites from Long John Silver’s.

Culver's Closes a Year of Expansion and Reimaging

The Midwest-based Culver's restaurant chain added 28 new restaurants in 2012, including its first venture into South Carolina.

This compares to 20 openings in 2011 and 12 in 2010. Culver's will finish the year with 473 restaurants operating in 20 states.

"Our existing franchise partners had a good year in 2011 and that, coupled with lower interest rates, encouraged them to expand this year," says Phil Keiser, president and chief operating officer. "We've also seen more new people interested in being part of the Culver's brand and owning their own business."