Quick service breakfast competition competes for restaurant super fans.
Outside Insights
Competition in the quick-service industry is heating up after Taco Bell rolled out hard-hitting advertising for its new breakfast menu with jabs at McDonald’s that suggest the quick-service leader is not keeping up with the times. McDonald’s, meanwhile, is grappling with recent quarterly results...
Fast food chicken restaurant in Chicago borrows dining experience from club.
Industry News
Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are not your typical restaurateurs, and that's just the way they like it. Call them alternative or off the cuff, the close friends and business partners are growing a foodservice brand built around a relational dining experience. Cikowski and Kulp met in culinary...
Florida based fast casual Burger 21 serves high quality menu in upscale setting.
Emerging Concepts
Despite the research and years of experience that went into creating Burger 21, the concept’s president has been surprised by one aspect of the business: the brand’s broad consumer appeal. “The amazing thing we didn’t predict was so many parties coming in with three generations,” says Mark Johnston...
Florida quick serve Huahua's Taqueria serves Mexican fare in outdoor setting.
Emerging Concepts
Opened in July 2013 by Miami restaurateurs Michael Boles and Niloy Thakkar, Huahua’s elevates the taco’s presence in South Beach. The concept pairs traditional Mexican favorites with avant-garde offerings crafted by Culinary Institute of America–trained chef Todd Erickson. With just three seats in...
Tropical Smoothie Café's CEO shares how he built a lifestyle brand.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I worked at Baskin-Robbins all through high school and all through college, and really got into management. I did everything for the franchisee when I was in college—I ordered product, I hired, I fired, I did payroll. So it really got me into the business and hospitality. I thought it was a lot of...
Fast food brands scale food safety efforts up as they grow across the country.
Food Safety
It could happen to any restaurant. Business is strong, with sales and unit counts growing quickly. Optimism abounds for a healthy future. And then it happens. Contaminated food supplies filter into the system. Hundreds of customers get sick. Traffic and sales plunge as consumers worry over the food...
Quick service chains apply for trademark names to secure competitive advantage.
Competition
With constant pressure to churn out innovative menu items, some quick serves are protecting and marketing unique creations through trademarks, which, while tricky to obtain, have paid off handsomely for many owners and operators. At Austin, Texas­–based Schlotzsky’s, a trademarked sandwich known as...
Restaurant brand Blimpie partnered with Texas nonprofit to support organization.
Charitable Giving
At first glance, a nonprofit subdivision developer and a sandwich restaurant seem a far-fetched choice for partnership—ham and cheese and mortgages have seemingly little in common. But nonprofit executive Bobby Calvillo and Blimpie area developer Alan Crites found their visions for a community...
Fast food kitchens must protect restaurants against food borne illness.
How to Improve Your Food Safety
Stories surrounding food-borne illness outbreaks in national quick-service restaurant chains have become very common, with many national brands having suffered at least one major food-borne illness outbreak. Whether the cause of the outbreak is due to contaminated food or unclean surfaces, food...
Very Cool
For many Americans, there’s nothing like drinking a tall, cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. Whether plain, sweetened, infused with fruit flavors, or part of a specialty beverage, iced tea is increasingly popular nationwide. Limited-service restaurants have seen solid growth with iced...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Auntie Anne’s invests in tomorrow’s talent.
Promise for the Future
Forget the age-old stereotype of teens being more interested in schlep than success. Auntie Anne’s corporate executives and franchise partners have seen first-hand that there is promising business potential in today’s high-school students. Fifty teens at the brand’s Leaders & Entrepreneurs...
Quick service brands leverage franchise system for strategic growth.
The Franchise Formula
For upstart quick-service restaurants considering the move to franchising, the path can precipitate a major shift in business model and operations. Beyond the economic investment in franchising, experts say, operators must ensure their brand will consistently deliver quality across all locations. “...
Quick service beverage providers shake up tea product with new twists.
Reading the Tea Leaves
It’s summer. It’s hot. And chances are good that if you’re nestled comfortably in a backyard hammock—or perched on a porch swing, sprawled out on the beach, casting a line at the ol’ fishing hole, or engaged in any number of other stereotypical warm-weather activities straight out of a Norman...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...