In an industry where domestic growth has been elusive, U.S.-based restaurant chains are attempting to evolve into truly global brands, reaching emerging markets where less industry saturation and competition exists. As chains seek to establish footholds in these untapped markets, they are challenged to strike a balance between maintaining their brand identities while tailoring menu items and service formats to local preferences.
The National Restaurant Association added Steven Hilton, vice president of government relations for McDonald’s Corporation, to its Board of Directors. Hilton was inducted at the Association’s fall 2011 board meeting in Washington, D.C., last month and will serve through December 31, 2013, when he is eligible to renew his commitment.
Quick serves across the country are still struggling to figure out how to accommodate the menu-labeling mandate, which will require them to be transparent about their calories. But some operators say customers will soon want a new kind of count posted for the public to see: size of the restaurant’s carbon footprint.
It’s true that different brands excel at different things, be it in the area of nutritional offerings, customer service, or speed.
It’s true, too, with drive-thru service; some brands perform better than the rest. And this year the QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study focuses on seven brands as a benchmark group that have consistently, year after year, risen to the top of the heap in drive-thru performance.
Drive-thru performance was first studied in 1998 to gauge the speed and accuracy of fast feeders and encourage the industry to improve its service. And improve it did:
The Monopoly Game at McDonald's is back in nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants starting tomorrow, bringing with it one in four odds of winning, multiple ways to play, and millions of prizes everyday. This year, customers can find Monopoly Game Pieces on new and old menu favorites including the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, 10- and 20-piece Chicken McNuggets, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, medium and large McCafe Cold Beverages (excluding McCafe Shakes and Large Iced Coffee), Hash Browns, Egg McMuffin, Sausage McMuffin with Egg, large fries, and medium fountain drinks.
As consumers increasingly seek healthy, great-tasting food, it seems that more chefs and restaurant operators are looking to fruit as a perfect ingredient for menu items.
The health benefits are obvious. Most fruit is low in fat, sodium, and calories; full of vitamins and minerals; and has no cholesterol. It also provides natural sweetness.
Fruit has been part of limited-service restaurants’ menus for decades, mostly in desserts or in beverages like orange juice or strawberry milkshakes. Now it’s expanding.
With the 63rd annual Emmys slated for Sunday, it seems appropriate that the quick-serve industry also celebrate its top awards—from Zagat.
This year’s results of the National Fast Food Restaurant Survey showed that several quick-serve categories are becoming increasingly competitive and that nutrition is more on the minds of consumers.
Despite the negative headlines that the fast food industry tends to generate, a new report shows that the vast majority of opinions about the industry on social media are positive.
A new study by New York City–based research firm Amplicate, “Public Opinion on Fast Food Chains in the U.S. on Social Media,” shows that 70 percent of all opinions posted about the industry on social media in the last year were positive.
Juan Alvarez, CEO of Amplicate, says his firm used a complex system to gather information across Twitter and Facebook about consumer sentiment.
A May 2011 survey predicted a long-term shift in consumer attitudes, with restaurant patrons falling into two camps: free spenders and controlled spenders. The latter group of consumers outnumber the former three to one, but experts say quick serves will have to figure out how to satisfy each consumer base in order to succeed in the long run.
McDonald's Corporation Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner today announced that Steve Easterbrook will resign as president of McDonald's Europe effective September 30, 2011. Easterbrook, 44, is joining the privately owned Gondola Group and will assume operational leadership of the international restaurant brand PizzaExpress as chief executive.