Panera Bread

Morning Comforts

Baked goods have been a staple in the quick-serve industry for decades, but innovation in the space has boomed as several operators step up their a.m. offerings to compete in that increasingly lucrative daypart.

Coffee concepts are a natural fit for baked goods. In addition to a morning cup of java, many customers anticipate a variety of baked breakfast items behind the bakery glass case, from syrupy sweet cinnamon rolls to savory crusted quiche.

Doherty Opens First Noodles & Company in Big Apple

Doherty Enterprises Inc., recognized as the 70th largest privately held business in the New York Metro area by Crain’s Business, operating restaurants in northern, southern, and central New Jersey, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, announced that it has acquired 38 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar locations – 35 in Florida; three in Georgia – from Duluth, GA-based Gator Apple, LLC. The Company also opens its seventh restaurant concept, Noodles & Company, at The Gallery at Westbury Plaza on Long Island.

Allergic Reaction

Some worry that the healthy eating movement hasn’t done enough to promote allergy-friendly menus.

Some operators have been slow to incorporate allergy-friendly menu options.
Though some operators have made allergy-friendly options a priority, others in the industry have been slow to change their menus.

Cutting calories, lowering fat content, and providing healthy, fresh ingredients have become increasingly commonplace in the limited-service industry over the past few years. But while U.S. quick serves have embraced the healthy lifestyle movement, some wonder if operators are still overlooking the need to offer allergy-friendly menu options.

Focus On the Values

Panera Bread’s “Live Consciously, Eat Deliciously” platform, which launched in late February after nearly a year of testing and research, is a first for the brand. Rather than touting Panera’s products, it focuses on the concept’s philosophy.

“We really wanted to talk more about why we exist as a company, rather than simply talk about what we do, which is make good soup, salads, and sandwiches,” says Michael Simon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Panera Bread.

Nurturing Boston

Quick serves step up to support volunteers, responders after Boston bombings.

The Boston Fire Department was treated to free meals at Firehouse Subs.
The Boston Fire Department was treated to free meals at Firehouse Subs' Copley Square location.

As soon as he learned about the April 15th Boston bombings, Dave Tucci, the New England area representative for Firehouse Subs’ DMA, called the Firehouse franchisee closest to the bombings.

Tucci was relieved to find out that all employees at Firehouse’s Copley Square location, just one mile away from the first blast, were OK. The store’s only damage was its sign, which was lying on the ground. Still, the atmosphere in the area was chaos.

IFMA Recognizes Outstanding Limited-Service Brands

For the third consecutive year, The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) recognizes four outstanding foodservice chain operators through the COEX Innovation Awards.

The winners will receive their awards during IFMA’s Chain Operators EXchange (COEX), March 3–6, 2013, at The Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas.

COEX Innovation Awards recognize regional and national chain companies that are shaping the industry through innovation in culinary, operations, marketing, and service.