Quick service pizza brands innovate with menu using on trend toppings.
Menu Innovations
Over the past century, Americans have developed a special craving for certain foods, both at home and in restaurants—items like burgers and fries, sandwiches and fried chicken. And then there’s pizza. One of the nation’s most beloved meals, pizza is the sum of varied parts: crust, sauce, cheese,...
Outside Insights
Don’t you get tired of hearing about the impending minimum wage increase? It is no longer if it is going to happen, but rather when is it going to happen and what will the magnitude be? The reality is that nobody really knows, but if you look around, isn’t it already beginning to happen? In some...
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Fried chicken quick service brand dishes high quality Southern inspired meals.
Emerging Concepts
Slim Chickens has at least one thing in common with the likes of Apple, Google, and Nike: It can trace its roots to a garage. President and CEO Tom Gordon concocted the idea for the fast-casual chicken concept in CMO Greg Smart’s garage. “We got the idea that no one was doing fresh chicken tenders...
Wolfgang Puck Express was one of the first fast casual brands run by a fine-dining chef.
Industry News
When Wolfgang Puck opened his first Wolfgang Puck Express in San Francisco’s Union Square Macy’s in 1991, the James Beard Award–winning chef redefined what guests could expect from a quick, takeout meal. Now, with the rollout of three new fast-casual concepts, Puck, who many consider a fast-casual...
Health and wellness restaurant CEO shares his history in starting nutritious brand.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I worked in the fashion business, so I became super focused and super aware of the importance of health and wellness and looking great in front of cameras through my first job out of college. And I basically surrounded myself with a bunch of these mom-and-pop delis in Manhattan that were catering...
Health and wellness are at center of Washington DC based salad concept Sweetgreen.
Charitable Giving
The classroom isn’t just for learning the A, B, Cs and 1, 2, 3s—more kids these days are also introduced to concepts like nutrition, the environment, and sustainability thanks to a crop of new partnerships between limited-service restaurants and public schools. Fast-casual concept Sweetgreen is one...
Quick service brands honor history with deals and promotions.
Growth
From a 95-year-old fast-food founding father to a five-year-old upstart, several quick-serve brands celebrate important anniversaries this year. While some have been modest in their celebrations, others are throwing company-wide bashes and passing on savings to guests through promotional deals. A...
Word of mouth advertising from quick service restaurants leverages powerful people.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: Your last column recommended putting a priority on influencers to spark word-of-mouth marketing. Can you explain more about how to use influencers? A: Sure, let’s start by clarifying who influencers are not. Influencers are not brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are usually customers or...
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 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 restaurants relaunch to build franchising program.
Franchise Fixes
Companies have good reasons for acquiring franchise brands. Often they see potential in a brand and hope to use their own resources to build it into a national contender. Many brands, though, need a healthy dose of TLC after acquisition. And some companies have found that a good rebranding can...
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...
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...
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...