Limited service restaurant chain Luke's Lobster serves premium food at high price point.
Industry News
For many brands, the startup years are full of operational struggles, sourcing issues, and slow, if any, growth. But that hasn’t been the case for New York–based Luke’s Lobster, a concept that’s cornered its own niche within the fast-casual industry in five short years. In the last half decade,...
Quick service pricing structures soften blow of sticker shock.
Competition
Prices for commodities such as beef, pork, poultry, and coffee are on the rise, and more operators expect to pass the cost to customers, industry reports suggest. And while getting guests to accept a price hike can be challenging, experts say it’s possible with menu and marketing tweaks....
Fast food brands swap bread for innovative sandwich holders.
Menu Innovations
The quick-service industry isn’t quite what it used to be. Gone are the days when a simple roll or slices of white bread sufficed as carriers for a burger or sandwich. These days, with innovation required in an increasingly competitive field, sandwich carriers ranging from doughnuts and lettuce to...
Quick service restaurant concept sells made to order nutritional dishes.
Emerging Concepts
Until Tossed’s creators brought chef-inspired salads to New York City in 1998, a fast-casual salad meant iceberg lettuce and a few hard tomato slices prepackaged in a clear plastic box and refrigerated. But at Tossed, salads are made fresh to order, and guests can design their own from a...
Outside Insights
Social media restaurant communities are littered with conversations revolving around one of the most costly and frustrating elements of the business: employee turnover. Every LinkedIn group, Google+ community, and Facebook page dedicated to the industry sees its share of questions and answers as to...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Industry News
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...
Quick service restaurant brands snap cool photos of food options to promote to customers.
Promotions
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers, which is why quick-serve restaurants spend a great deal of time, money, and effort to ensure their menuboards and promotional materials have images that resonate with their customers....
Outside Insights
First, Taco Bell turned the burrito on its side with the launch of a new breakfast menu, and now, traditional morning daypart chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are looking to extend their bite to the much-larger lunch slice. Although Dunkin’ has been after the coffee-drinking market that makes up...
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 brands can use big data to plan strategic growth.
Data: The Most Important Ingredient
Selling food for profit dates back to the evolution of human society itself: from outside eateries in ancient Rome and China to the evolution of fine dining in France to the mushrooming of the fast-food industry, drive thru, and takeaway inns in the last decade. Restaurants have changed along with...
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...
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...