Brands No. 51-65 are fast-rising quick-service and fast-casual companies that just missed the QSR 50.
Brandstand Group announced that Philip Friedman, former CEO and president of the McAlister Corporation (McAlister’s Deli), has been named vice chairman of the Board of Directors at Brandstand Group, a premier restaurant brand marketing and communication firm.
“We’re very fortunate and excited to welcome Phil Friedman to the Brandstand Group,” says president and CEO Chris Petersen. “His operational expertise, wealth of experience in developing new and creative concepts for the restaurant industry, and track record in guiding growing companies is unparalleled.”
Marketing professors over the years have lectured students that they should never give a customer too many choices. Quick-serve operators must have missed that class. A look at several successful quick-serve menus reveals some form of a Choose Two option, where consumers can create a meal by combining items from an array of choices.
At McAlister’s Deli, employees greet customers as they approach the counter to place their order and once more as they deliver meals to customers in the dining room. These same employees also walk the dining room, offering to get drink refills, removing meal debris, and assisting with additional needs as they arise. It’s a full-service restaurant approach in a quick-service operation, one that’s paying dividends for many quick serves both in terms of great customer service and boosting the bottom line.
With hundreds of great concepts and thousands of great operators, the fast-casual segment certainly holds its own in terms of both innovation and leadership. The last 10 years can arguably be called “the decade of fast casual” due to the growth and flourishing of the segment.
The May issue of QSR had a great article on the most innovative people in quick service, but this column will focus on the most influential leaders in fast casual.