Quick service restaurant brands add nutritious items like kale to improve menus.
Health
It’s the conundrum befuddling limited-service restaurant operators the world over: How do you answer consumer demand for healthier menu items when so many customers are scared away by health-food claims? How do you help fight off the nation’s obesity epidemic when the entire business is designed...
Quick service restaurant concept Fresh to Order makes healthy fresh food.
Emerging Concepts
“Fast fine” is the way Fresh to Order founder and CEO Pierre Panos describes the Atlanta-based concept he created in 2006. “It’s nicer than fast casual, but not fine dining,” he says. With a background in fine dining, Panos sought to offer a fresh, quality product to a mass market for around $10....
Quick service companies like Starbucks let customers use wireless charging stations.
Ordering
The rise of wireless phone chargers in quick-service establishments could turn the casual consumer into a loyal, repeat customer. These sleek mats are either placed on or built into a table and provide guests with the convenience of charging their mobile devices by simply placing the phone in a...
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Quick service restaurant brands leverage review sites like Yelp to sway customer opinion.
Industry News
Executives, store managers, and everyone else involved in a restaurant business dreads reading horrible online reviews of their company’s food, service, and atmosphere. But like them or not, reviews have become a significant part of the dining process, and recent research finds that review websites...
Quick service brands can set menu prices based on food qualities.
Outside Insights
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one. Welcome back, class. Last we left off, we were discussing the shortcomings of a cost-plus approach to menu pricing and teasing more sophisticated strategies...
Small portions at quick service restaurants are filling customer snack needs.
Ingredients & Dayparts
Evolving eating habits and generational dynamics are changing the way we look at snacking. There’s no traditional time when Americans are looking for snacks—say, the middle of the afternoon. It’s the late morning, early evening, and late night, too. It’s as if there are as many dayparts for...
Quick service restaurant brands adjust operation to busy traffic seasons.
Competition
Along the Ohio River Road in Lesage, West Virginia, sits Hillbilly Hot Dogs, a destination stop for locals and tourists alike. When winter hits, however, Hillbilly’s popular—and wildly distinctive—weenie stand sees a sharp, double-digit decline in revenue, says Sharie Knight, who opened the self-...
Quick service companies encourage workers to give back to community.
Charitable Giving
Quick-service executives have the capacity to do a lot of good outside just filling customer bellies with tasty food. Many choose to rally their loyal consumers behind a cause, creating fundraising opportunities and spreading awareness. Others go the extra mile to rally their own corporate team and...
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...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
Quick service restaurants can learn potato tips from Trine University chef.
Chef Q&A: Todd Downs
Many people think of baked potatoes and french fries when it comes to potato dishes in restaurants. What are some new ways potatoes are finding their way to menus? I think smashing or ripping and then flash frying is a hot trend right now. Poutine is still pretty hot out there, and I’ve had really...
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...
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...
Quick service and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...