Subway

Subway, Unscripted

When 17-year-old Fred DeLuca decided he’d try to earn his college tuition by launching a sandwich shop, he and partner Peter Buck set a goal of opening 32 outlets in 10 years.

“We fell a little short,” DeLuca recalls 45 years later. “I think we had 24 open” by 1975.

It might’ve been the last time his brainchild, now known as Subway, would miss an expansion target. Last year, at a time when the restaurant industry appeared to be contracting, the chain grew by 1,153 units in the U.S. alone. That’s roughly an opening every eight hours.

Quality Control

Timothy Howes is tired of hearing about product quality—at least the way most owners and operators frame the topic.

“If I hear one more restaurant owner say, ‘We serve quality food,’ I think I’m going to scream,” says Howes, a principal consultant and management expert for performance consultant Spyglass Strategies. “Quality food is not a differentiator. It has to be more than that. What restaurant would ever tell their customers that they serve mediocre food?”

Could a Salt Mandate Be Next?

Restaurants are doing all they can to stop federal regulations of salt from becoming a reality. But is it working?

With the release of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report recommending the government regulate the amount of sodium in the nation’s food supply, the restaurant industry says it wants to take action—on its own.

“The industry supports a voluntary, incremental approach to reducing sodium levels in menu items, and would have concerns about any potential government mandate that creates a one-size-fits-all rule to ingredient standards,” the National Restaurant Association said in an April 20 statement, released the same day as the IOM report.

The 10 Most Innovative People

Never before has innovation been as essential to running a successful quick-serve restaurant concept.

During what has turned out to be the most daunting recession in our nation’s history, innovation has been the driving force for the concepts that are beating the odds.

Often, the inspiration for innovation comes from the top, and that certainly holds true for the following leaders, who were selected from a wide-ranging list of successful operators.

Don’t Be Short Sighted

Promotional strategies are the lifeblood of any retail business—quick serves are no exception. Promotions create news that attracts consumer attention, and that attention usually drives sales and traffic. But promotions also shape brand perceptions, and those perceptions are equally important.

2010 Chef Survey

QSR asks the industry’s leading culinarians to weigh in on what’s hot and what’s not in menu trends. Their answers may surprise you.

While the old adage says there’s nothing new under the sun, the new decade brings fresh takes on traditional menu items while ethnic, vegan, and local ingredients make farther inroads into the quick-serve culinary scene.

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