Fast food brands adapt to Millennial demands with snacks like chips and dip.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
If you’re reading this column at work—in an office, cubicle, or break room—take a moment to survey the coworkers in your line of sight. If your workplace is anything like mine, you’re probably going to notice a lot of moving mouths, whether or not people are talking. Most office environments are...
Competition
In an age when consumers’ choices have never been broader, it’s critical to stand out among the sea of other brands and offerings. That may be one reason why companies from practically every industry are spending hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars to develop and execute marketing...
Father son quick service restaurant franchisees build on family relationship.
Franchising
The father-son team of 57-year-old Jon S. Crowe and 28-year-old Jon P. Crowe shines at their two Toppers Pizza units in Nebraska. The pair opened a store in Lincoln in February 2012 and one in Omaha this past June. By next summer, they plan to add another new location in each city. The duo’s...
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Quick service restaurant chain Larkburger dishes upscale burgers.
Emerging Concepts
If doing something on a lark means it’s adventurous or even daring, Larkburger is aptly named, say cofounders Thomas Salamunovich and Adam Baker. The chef-driven burger concept was the first fast casual to open in the ski resort town of Vail, Colorado, they say, and it’s become a local icon now...
Millennial consumers want quick service restaurants to provide more information online.
Industry News
According to a new study, Millennials have high standards when it comes to restaurant brands’ online presence. And if they don’t get the information they want, they take their business elsewhere. A survey by local search and digital marketing firm Placeable found that 68 percent of Millennials (...
In the Store
Reinvesting in employee training, improved food quality, and more efficient supply chains are all viable options to strengthen an underperforming quick-service restaurant. But before any outward changes can take root, the core of the business must be unified, and several businesses are finding that...
Health
Offering healthier dining options is essential in today’s competitive marketplace, even for a brand built on indulgence. Sometimes, though, it takes clever marketing to draw consumers’ attention to these better-for-you items. CKE sister brands Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. did just that with the June...
Fast casual concepts expand to include drive thru system.
Competition
While historians and quick-service industry veterans alike still hotly dispute the exact origin of the drive-thru window, one thing is certain: The rise of the auto industry revolutionized the fast-food business. Quick-service restaurants evolved in tandem with Americans’ growing use and purchase...
The One-Stop Shop
Convenience stores are increasingly taking a larger slice out of the quick-serve pie with fresh food offerings. It’s become such a lucrative business for C-stores that Sheetz, the Pennsylvania-based C-store chain that this week opened its 500th location, is planning stores designed more as fast...
Fast food restaurant companies innovate supply around farm drought conditions.
At Mother Nature’s Mercy
Kevin Kester’s family has been farming in the U.S. for generations. And it’s not just a couple of generations they’ve been farming; more like generations upon generations, way back to the 1600s, specifically in California since the 1860s. Today, Kester owns a 22,000-acre beef cattle ranch in...
Quick service restaurant executives run charity effort to raise funds for cancer research.
A Personal Connection
When Lori Newcomb found out she had stage III ovarian cancer last year, she made it her mission to learn more about the disease and help other women fighting the same battle. She sat down with her husband, Chris Newcomb, cofounder and CEO of Southern quick-service chain Newk’s Eatery, and together...
10 Challenges for Fast-Casual Leaders
While the fast-casual category continues to be the fastest-growing industry sector, the road in 2015 will be bumpy. We will see constant change and challenges around every corner. For industry leaders, there are issues that will keep even the most seasoned executive awake at night.  Here is my top...
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...
More Wall Street investors look to buy stock in fast casual and quick service concepts.
The Push for Public
When fast-casual chain Zoës Kitchen Inc. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last April, the Plano, Texas–based Mediterranean-style eatery recorded its initial public offering at $87.5 million. Satisfying an investor appetite for investments within the trendy fast-casual space, Zoës’ strong...