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...
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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
Quick service restaurant company Arbys honors milestone with big changes.
Growth
One would imagine that many things change in the course of five decades in the restaurant business. And in terms of the limited-service landscape, consumer habits, and technology, they certainly have. But when it comes to the Arby’s brand, things have largely stayed the same in its 50-year history...
Food service operators open mobile carts and trucks to serve menu at events.
Growth
Forget the rock-hard pretzels and suspicious-looking hot dogs that cart vendors were once known for. Nowadays, the mobile foodservice space is populated by specialty coffee concepts, gourmet popcorn carts, and Korean barbecue on wheels. And business is booming for these operators as they look to...
Outside Insights
It’s the age-old question, resurfaced: Why fix what ain’t broke? Restaurateurs are often faced with the dilemma of handling change in their chains. As a hospitality-focused design firm, starrdesign has worked with a wide range of quick service restaurants over the years, gaining insight into their...
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Charity cause Dine Out for No Kid Hungry raises money to fight childhood hunger.
Industry News
One in five children go hungry in the U.S. each day. It was that stat, as well as a childhood spent among those below the poverty line, that convinced Monte Jump, Back Yard Burger’s chief operations and marketing officer, to get his brand involved in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry platform for...
Industry News
As Dunkin’ Donuts continues its national, westward expansion, the brand is unveiling a new Rainforest Alliance Certified Dark Roast Coffee. The new Dark Roast, developed by Dunkin’ Donuts’ Coffee Excellence team over the past several years, uses a unique roasting process to bring out key...
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,...
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...
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 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...
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 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...
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...