The quick-serve industry has taken its share of blows from media and government alike as they suggest fast food is contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic. And while the industry has risen to the challenge of offering lower-calorie, lower-sodium, and all-around healthier menu offerings, some still suggest that more could be done in the realm of portion sizing.
Even though shrinking the portion size of popular menu items may seem an easy response to the demands for healthier food, experts say the solution is not so simple.
On the heels of its “Naked” ordering option (menu items without a tortilla), expanded Kids Meal menu, and last year’s Craft 2 menu, Qdoba has raised its innovation bar higher this summer. The Denver-based Mexican chain recently announced that it is expanding its healthy options by testing whole-wheat tortillas in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, restaurants.
Fewer calories, less fat, and higher fiber than the chain’s traditional flour tortillas, the whole-wheat tortillas are available at no extra cost as an option for burritos or quesadillas.
Each year QSR surveys the best and the brightest culinary professionals in the industry to find out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to your menu. The exclusive annual Chef Survey, unveils innovative menu items that reflect the year’s newest and most exciting inspirations.
In many cases, it’s a different consumer out there today deciding where to dine when the urge hits. Throughout the recession, full-service restaurants offered so many fire-sale bargains that those little affected by the economy could almost feel guilty for practically stealing meals when they would have just as willingly paid regular price.
Qdoba Mexican Grill introduced Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos to its more than 500 restaurants nationwide. Available only for a limited time beginning March 7, Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos offer guests a fresh, flavorful spin on traditional Mexican street fare. Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos come with three small, soft corn tortillas filled with the guest’s choice of Qdoba’s signature slow-roasted pulled pork or seasoned shredded beef and then topped with a red onion and fresh cilantro garnish.
What’s happened to pizza’s major players?
In 2000, the QSR 50 Report, this magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s top quick-service brands, showed a robust American appetite for pizza, a category trailing only burger joints in representation. With pizza chains claiming four of the list’s top 15 slots and 12 of the top 50, the segment seemed poised to maintain its spot as a 21st century quick-service staple.
Qdoba Mexican Grill has had a loyalty program available for customers for several years now, but the company announced that it is rolling out an enhanced version of the program to give customers more flexibility with the points they earn.
Qdoba Rewards creates a bank system that customers can access online and interact with whenever they like, including the ability to redeem their points whenever they choose—like, for instance, to go toward the purchases of friends or family they might be with.
Denver-based Qdoba Mexican Grill announced that it promoted five executives to build upon the company’s positive sales and new unit growth through innovative marketing, franchise development, and menu innovation. Promotions include: Karen Guido to chief marketing officer; David Craven to division vice president of marketing; Neil Harfert to division vice president of restaurant operations; Jim Piper to division vice president of restaurant operations; and John Dikos to director of franchise development.
Kids’ menus have come a long way from the days when they were little more than sandwiches, soft drinks, and small fries for the small fries.
As parents increasingly seek out food that is healthful and nutritious for their children, particularly in light of America’s growing childhood-obesity crisis, restaurants have sought to provide menu items that are not only good for kids, but also taste great.