2012 QSR Drive-Thru Study

How the best drive-thru operations in the industry make the wheels go ’round.

Taco Bell has the second fastest drive thru in quick service.

The drive-thru operation of a quick-service restaurant may seem relatively cut and dried, but operators aren’t resting on their laurels when it comes to their outdoor business. For many brands in the industry, the drive thru can account for anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of sales—no small number in a $200 billion industry.

Cracking the NFL

The league’s signage rules are strict, leading brands to take advantage of TV broadcasts.

Wendy's tops list of restaurant brands fighting for broadcast exposure in 2011.
Wendy's topped list of restaurant brands fighting for broadcast exposure in 2011.

Now that football teams across the country are facing off in the NFL’s 2012 season, which kicked off last week, many quick serves are beginning a gridiron contest of their own.

Marketing and advertising efforts designed around the NFL are an increasingly hot commodity in the industry. But in the NFL, which has strict rules on branded stadium signage, getting in front of viewer eyeballs without buying commercial airtime is a tricky proposition. This has led several brands to develop broadcast partnerships as part of their NFL strategy.

Wendy's Operator Finds Back-Office Help in RTIconnect

Mike Allen is a believer in the “value menu," and not just on his restaurant menuboards. After struggling with a frustrating and costly back-office software system, the Florida operator replaced it with RTIconnect in his Wendy’s restaurants. The value-rich payback, he says, is more accuracy, more information, more convenience—and at a fraction of the price he paid before.

Starbucks Holds $87.4M in Impact Media Value

Starbucks is the top quick-service restaurant brand with $87.4 million of Impact Media Value according to General Sentiment’s Q2 2012 QSR MediaMatch report.

McDonald’s ($39.4 million), Taco Bell ($38.7 million), Burger King ($37.4 million), and Chipotle ($29.5 million) round out the top five. The top six brands in the rankings have remained unchanged since the last report.

Wendy's Sees 25% Sales Increases at Prototype Units

In January, Wendy’s CEO Emil J. Brolick told investors he had a winning recipe to revive the historic brand, as he outlined a strategy that included both a “people reboot” and a push to roll out new store prototypes.

During the company’s second-quarter earnings call on August 9, Brolick said early results indicate reimaged stores really are the magic touch for reviving sales. Same-store sales in North America increased 3.2 percent for the company during the second quarter.

Strawberry Workshop Sparks Chefs' Creativity

To help inspire better-for-you menu options in chain restaurants, the California Strawberry Commission last week hosted a Culinary Workshop for select restaurant chain corporate chefs,menu developers, and buyers.

The two-and-a-half day event provided an in-depth look at the field-to-fork journey of California strawberries.

Wendy’s CMO Elected to Dave Thomas Foundation Board

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption proudly announces the election of Craig Bahner to its board of trustees. Bahner is chief marketing officer at The Wendy’s Company.

"Craig is a proven leader and a welcome addition to our board," says Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Foundation. "His experience in both consumer and foodservice industries, along with his growth-oriented business philosophy, will help strategically move our mission forward.”

The Fruit Solution

Walking into some quick-service restaurants these days can make you feel like you’ve just wandered into the produce section at Whole Foods. A colorful cornucopia of fresh fruit—from deep-yellow mangos and light-green apples to purple pomegranates and ruby-red strawberries—is getting highlighted in every menu category. Fruits from across the world are showing up in breakfast items, as part of eye-catching salads, as accompanying elements to entrees, as fresh-pressed beverages, and as healthy dessert options.