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...
Fast food brands jump on board pumpking flavor trend with innovative menu items.
Industry News
Pumpkin has long reigned as king of the fall, but this year, limited-service brands are not just adding a pumpkin pastry and calling it a season. Instead, several quick-service and fast-casual concepts introduced non-pumpkin products and innovative spins on the pumpkin flavor, while also launching...
Industry News
Johnny Rockets can now support two out of three characteristics of "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." The full-service concept announced this week that it will spin-off its Americana brand with four quick-service prototypes, from a standalone drive-thru unit and drive-in accompaniment to a pop-up shop...
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...
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...
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 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...