Starbucks

Starbucks Gets Hearty with New Oatmeal Option

Just in time for New Year’s resolutions, Starbucks will launch a nutrition-packed start to the day with the new Starbucks Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal. The new Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal will feature a blend of steel-cut and rolled oats for a hearty blend texture, and new toppings including fresh blueberries; a fruit, nut and seed medley; and agave syrup for a touch of sweetness. Ready to eat in five minutes and packed with seven grams of protein and six grams of fiber in a 280-calorie bowl, the new Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal is a satisfying choice to warm up cold winter mornings.

10 Trends for 2013

The menu items, promotional tools, and business strategies that will affect quick serves this year.

Menu items like Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad use popular buzzwords.
Wendy's used the popular buzzword "fresh" to promote its Berry Almond Chicken Salad. Wendy's

What would the start of another year be without predictions? Whether analyzing politics, the silver screen, or stock markets, experts try to offer a peek at the trends we can expect in the coming year.

The restaurant industry is no different. Throughout 2012’s fourth quarter, various consultants, chefs, and operators gazed into their crystal balls and forecasted the hot restaurant ideas and issues of 2013.

The following 10 trends, according to those experts, seem most likely to impact quick-service and fast-casual restaurants this year.

Java Jive

We love our coffee in the U.S.

Whether the java is hot or cold, plain or flavored, we’re guzzling, sipping, gulping, and otherwise downing north of 400 million cups of Joe every day. In fact, a survey from the National Coffee Association (NCA) indicates that coffee has moved ahead of soft drinks as the most popular U.S. beverage, enjoyed by an estimated 73 percent of consumers at least once a week in early 2012.

HMSHost Unveils Starbucks Evenings at Dulles Airport

Global restaurateur HMSHost celebrated the grand opening of the very first airport location for Starbucks’ latest concept, Starbucks Evenings, at Washington Dulles International Airport.

HMSHost and Starbucks opened the first airport Starbucks more than 20 years ago and have worked closely together to introduce Starbucks Evenings.

Travelers in Dulles’ international terminal will now be able to unwind in a welcoming and inviting atmosphere while enjoying a glass of hand-selected wine, a bottle of beer, or a cup of premium coffee or tea.

Cardfree Launches Integrated Mobile Merchant Platform

Cardfree announced the launch of its company and introduced the first fully integrated mobile merchant platform, enabling companies to drive incremental visits, larger ticket size, tender preference, and more meaningful consumer engagement under its branded experience.

Last month, the company closed $10 million in Series A funding.

The Cardfree platform combines a full range of merchant solutions, including personalized offers and promotions, mobile payments, loyalty, order-ahead, and social-media engagement, all of which come with robust reporting.

Year of the Brand

In this last Brand New Perspectives of 2012, I’m breaking from my usual Q&A format to recap some of the most important brand developments in fast food this past year.

Despite the sluggish economy and uncertainty that typically accompanies election years, companies in our industry chose to make some of their boldest moves in 2012, and some exciting new chains took the stage. Here are my picks for the seven biggest brand stories of the year.

How to Stay Crafty

Wine connoisseurs for years looked down their noses at beer, considering the latter, better-selling beverage as a drink of the “common man.”

That view is slowly evolving, however, as an increasing number of Americans become fans of the many craft beers being brewed all across the country. And it’s an evolution that’s starting to impact quick-service restaurants, too.

HMSHost Unveils New Local Cuisine and More at SLC Airport

HMSHost and Salt Lake City International Airport celebrates the grand opening of 13 new restaurants highlighting local and national favorites. The new restaurants bring a decidedly local twist, as seven of the 13 are Salt Lake City-area eateries. With a mix of Mexican, Greek, and Italian food, as well as coffee shops and bars, every traveler at Salt Lake City International is sure to find the delicious meal they are seeking before their flight.

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