Competition
Once a hallmark of classic fast-food joints, the drive-thru operation is getting a fast casual–style facelift thanks to chains like Dallas-based Which Wich. The customizable sandwich concept opened its second drive-thru unit this summer in Crystal Lake, Illinois, to offer more convenience, says...
Fast food restaurant giant serves customer needs through charitable foundation.
Charitable Giving
Four hundred and fifty million dollars. That’s $450 million—nearly half a billion dollars. It’s a big chunk of change, approximately what McAlister’s Deli and Auntie Anne’s each did in system-wide sales last year. It’s also, according to company estimates, about what Ronald McDonald House Charities...
Competition
Inspired by the cuisine of his wife’s native Hawaii, Southern California’s ubiquitous taquerias, and fast casual’s continued surge, Christopher Campbell launched Braddah’s Island Style in July 2013. The novel Las Vegas–based concept puts a Hawaiian spin on made-to-order burritos, bowls, tacos, and...
Outside Insights
Many vendors slap the phrase “mobile payment system” on their products hoping to increase their appeal, adding to misperceptions of what the technology entails. In reality, this broad term can encompass several different things, including open-loop mobile wallets like Google Wallet and closed-loop...
Industry News
Editor’s Note: In the limited-service restaurant industry, some brands become standard bearers for the rest of the business, prime examples for how to run certain aspects of a restaurant. McDonald’s, of course, has long been one for its marketing, scale, and efficiency. In the last five years,...
Fast food restaurant brands trace food source to protect quality and safety.
Food Safety
Technological advances have influenced the restaurant industry in obvious ways, including through virtual reservations, online reviews, and increased customer interaction through social media. But in the back of the house, new tracking software and standards are revolutionizing supply systems,...
Industry News
In a message sent to employees today, Chick-fil-A announced that its founder and chairman emeritus, S. Truett Cathy, died at 1:35 a.m. Monday at the age of 93. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones. Born March 14, 1921, in Eatonton, Georgia, Cathy was four years old when his family...
Read Full Story // read more about: Chick-fil-A
Fast food chicken franchisee builds business with savvy site selection.
Franchising
It’s been said that the success of a restaurant, be it fast casual or fine dining, comes down to location, location, location. Roland Spongberg, an El Pollo Loco franchisee and CEO and president of WKS Restaurant Corporation, knows the old adage well, having worked as a real estate developer since...
Read Full Story // read more about: El Pollo Loco, Growth
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...
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...
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 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...