McDonald's

The Five Guys Mistake

We’re in a really huge shift in the way we do second locations, and customers’ particular tastes have changed. You’re really seeing the customers’ tastes be that if he doesn’t want to go to the Ruby Tuesday, which is the same everywhere, or even the McDonald’s, the customer’s tastes are, “I want my uniqueness, I want my neighborhood feel, I want something special.” That’s why you’re seeing some real struggle with restaurants trying to go out and duplicate what they had and it not being successful. You also don’t want to duplicate exactly because it’s really hard to do.

One Sauce Doesn’t Fit All

Using ketchup to dip or slather french fries is a long-established American tradition. The pairing has not only provided consumers with a distinct flavor, but it has given diners the ability to choose how much of the condiment to use, based on their own tastes.

It turns out that this flavor-control ritual also served as the restaurant industry’s foreshadowing of a much larger concept—individualization—that has been sweeping across the industrial world for the past couple of decades.

Quick-Serve U.

There’s a Wingstop in Dallas where the counters aren’t so neat and the owner drips batter onto the floor, and when tongs fall into the deep fryer, managers stare inside thinking of ways to get them out.

Welcome to Wingstop U. Not a real store, but a mock-up Wingstop that’s part of the company’s headquarters, where training of new franchisees takes place. 

Quick Service in 2060

The economic roller coaster of the last 18 months reminded every brand in quick service that survival is not guaranteed, and QSR is taking this new thinking as an opportunity to look at life after the recession—way after.

Advertising Age recently ran a hilarious peek into the future called “The Most Influential Brands of 2090,” which you can read here. This got us thinking about the future of quick service and what brands in the industry might be dominant 50 years from now. With a nod to Michael Crichton’s novel Timeline for the opening conceit, here is the tongue-in-cheek guess of Greg Sanders, QSR’s associate publisher…

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