Quick service restaurant chain Larkburger dishes upscale burgers.
Emerging Concepts
If doing something on a lark means it’s adventurous or even daring, Larkburger is aptly named, say cofounders Thomas Salamunovich and Adam Baker. The chef-driven burger concept was the first fast casual to open in the ski resort town of Vail, Colorado, they say, and it’s become a local icon now...
Millennial consumers want quick service restaurants to provide more information online.
Industry News
According to a new study, Millennials have high standards when it comes to restaurant brands’ online presence. And if they don’t get the information they want, they take their business elsewhere. A survey by local search and digital marketing firm Placeable found that 68 percent of Millennials (...
In the Store
Reinvesting in employee training, improved food quality, and more efficient supply chains are all viable options to strengthen an underperforming quick-service restaurant. But before any outward changes can take root, the core of the business must be unified, and several businesses are finding that...
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 can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
Quick service operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...
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...
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 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 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...