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...
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: Can you give me some pointers on reaching out to the Hispanic market? A: The Hispanic market deserves our attention. There are more than 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. and, by 2050, that number is projected to grow to 130 million. Hispanics are our country’s largest ethnic group,...
Ingredients & Dayparts
Snacking between meals has etched out its own niche, turning the tables on the traditional three-daypart model. The resulting shift in restaurant dayparts has quick-service operators working hard to attract snackers, especially those seeking healthy snacks to suit their active lifestyles. Consumers...
Outside Insights
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Recently, I went on a road trip across the Midwest, and on that trip I consumed more than my fair share of fast food. As I darted between Burger Kings and Taco Bells, I began to notice...
Quick service brands use social media like Twitter to appeal to consumers.
Industry News
Twitter users who engage with quick-service brands via the social media platform are more likely to visit a restaurant, according to new research on the quick-serve dining segment released by Twitter. Twitter conducted its “QSR Insights Survey” over a four-week period in March 2014 in conjunction...
Quick service restaurant brands enhance drive thru systems to improve operation.
Industry News
A lot has been said about the dramatic transformation the limited-service restaurant industry has experienced in the last five to 10 years. Observers have noted a range of factors that have shoved along the change, from the pressures to offer healthier food to younger generations’ desire for more...
Quick service restaurant brands open new units in amusement parks.
Competition
For years, Richard Pink mused about expanding his family’s iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs beyond its famed Hollywood location. But he was turned off by the daunting idea of building out the company, hiring more employees, and keeping tabs on franchisees. So he found another way. In the last few years, Pink...
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...
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...
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 brands add sustainable seafood items to fight ocean climate change.
Sea Change
Though U.S. consumption is well below other proteins today, seafood will likely be an increasingly important part of the American diet in the years to come. The country’s population is predicted to grow by 89 million between 2010 and 2050 to 401 million people. More people require more food—and...
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...
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...