Little Caesars

Fast Food Closing in on Full Service in Customer Satisfaction

The quick-service industry is closing the customer satisfaction gap standing between it and the full-service industry, according to a new study.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released today, found that customer satisfaction with the quick-serve industry had increased 5.3 percent between 2010 and 2011, to a score of 79 out of 100.

The full-service industry, meanwhile, increased only 1.2 percent to a score of 82.

Fleeced by a Lease

It’s always been difficult to own and operate a successful quick serve, and in the next few years, it might get tougher. That’s because some proposed rule changes in the way a company’s balance sheets are organized could create mayhem by showing that, on paper at least, a profitable quick-serve unit is losing money.

Leveraging Franchisee Diversity

Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer relations, new product innovation, and new markets.

The Fall of Pizza

What’s happened to pizza’s major players?

In 2000, the QSR 50 Report, this magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s top quick-service brands, showed a robust American appetite for pizza, a category trailing only burger joints in representation. With pizza chains claiming four of the list’s top 15 slots and 12 of the top 50, the segment seemed poised to maintain its spot as a 21st century quick-service staple.

2010 in Review

Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson

1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors

Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors, for $3.3 billion in September. —BC

2. The Food Truck Obsession

Lessons Learned

Whether it’s started by the internationally renowned franchisor or the ma-and-pa franchisee, litigation stands an unwelcome event in a relationship desperately needing trust, respect, and the singular, shared aim of bottom-line success. Over the last decade, however, a litany of franchisor-franchisee disputes have made their way into the courtroom, proving to be a time- and cost-consuming process littered with stress and frustration for both sides.

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