Interpreting the Top 100

Every year, many of us anxiously await the release of Technomic’s Fast Casual Top 100 report. Technomic’s Darren Tristano, one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, gave me an interview and a sneak peek at the report. Here are his thoughts, followed by a few of my own.

Darren, what is the size of the fast-casual segment (2010)?

Would Your Crew Wear Mobile Ads?

When Superior Uniform Group (sug) began manufacturing uniforms in 1920, chances are no one in the company ever thought it would launch a media division more than nine decades later. But in a sign of the times—in which more businesses than not are undergoing major technological transformations and industries are bleeding into one another like clothes in a hot wash—this is exactly what SUG did when it launched everyBODY media in early March.

The Secret to 30 Years of Success at McDonald's

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Billions and billions sold. A veritable room full of creative awards, including the 4A’s “Best Five Year Campaign,” Advertising Age’s “Best Campaign of the Twentieth Century,” and the second-best Spokesclown of the Twentieth Century—not to mention a mess of Cannes Lions and Clios.

McDonald's, Pokemon Pair Up

Pokemon Black·White-themed Happy Meals arrive in participating McDonald's stores across North America beginning June 17, 2011.

Pokémon fans visiting North American McDonald's locations June 17-July 7 can purchase a Happy Meal featuring one of eight McDonald's exclusive Pokémon figures, including Pikachu and brand-new Pokémon Reshiram, Zekrom, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Zorua, and Zoroark, as well as one of twelve Pokémon Trading Card Game cards to celebrate what has already been a blockbuster year for the franchise.

In the Crosshairs: Kids’ Marketing

The demand for regulating quick serves' marketing to kids is growing.

Congress is encouraging the foodservice industry to self-regulate its marketing to kids, asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Agriculture—to create a list of kids’ marketing principles.

The new guidelines, which were announced April 28 and will be finalized in July, say that advertising should encourage healthier food choices, while minimizing the marketing of harmful food elements.

McDonald's Wants Its Healthy Options to Be 'Just for You'

McDonald’s is personalizing its healthy-menu efforts by launching a new “Made Just for You” platform. The company debuted the new platform yesterday at its First Taste Event in New York City.

McCafé beverages, chicken-based options, and salads have all been placed under the “Made Just for You” banner. McDonald’s also used the First Taste Event to announce the addition of two “Made Just for You” items: the Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie and the Asian Salad.

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.

Trust Roy, It's Worth a Grand

Once upon a time, there was a used car lot with a tan building, some pavement, and a lot of fast, gray cars, as well as one Volkswagen with no engine and a sign that read, “Great mileage.”

One warm day, lightning cracked in the West and pretty soon a storm hit. It hailed ball bearings for a full three minutes. When it stopped, those cars looked like they had been attacked by a herd of church ladies protesting medical marijuana.