Live Basil

Better Sodas Bubbling Up

New craft-soda programs offer unique beverage experience.

Handcrafted. Natural. Artisan. Signature. These foodie buzzwords may have once described decadent pizzas or burgers featuring grass-fed beef, but they’re increasingly featured on the beverage side of quick-serve menus, too.

Freshness and originality are becoming increasingly important buying factors for today’s restaurant-goers, and operators have begun bolstering their drink programs with premium craft-soda options, which offer customers a more enhanced beverage experience than traditional mass-market picks.

Birth of a Brand

What it takes in this day and age to develop a new brand, from conception to launch.

New fast food brands like Live Basil first start as innovative business ideas.
Employees at the first Live Basil unit work the line shortly after the restaurant opened.

It always starts with a simple idea.

For Brian Bailey at Ichor Restaurant Group, it began with the idea that Ohioans needed better barbecue. Six years after that idea initially took hold, Old Carolina Barbecue opened the doors to its first unit, in Canton, Ohio. The company later opened California-inspired Baja Pizzafish and will soon launch Smoke, a concept that draws inspiration from the smoked burgers served in Old Carolina and the sauces from Baja Pizzafish.

Complete NRA Show Coverage

A rundown of the sights, sounds, and eats at the 2013 NRA Show.

National Restaurant Association Show attendees walk the expansive floor.
National Restaurant Association / restaurantdotorg

Click on the headlines below to catch up on QSR’s coverage from the floor of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show).

Recapping the NRA Show

As the lights went out on the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show) in Chicago on Tuesday, there was plenty to consider about the future of the industry.

FROM THE FLOOR: Live Basil to Freshen Up Pizza

Rick Schaden, founder and chairman of Smashburger parent company Consumer Concept Partners, offered more details at the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA Show) on the company’s soon-to-launch fast-casual pizza brand.

The concept, Live Basil Pizza, is getting ready to open its first location in Denver. It is built around an assembly-line pizza model, in which customers can build their own pizza or order a selection from the menuboard.