Outside Insights
Frozen-yogurt shops are reaching critical mass as sales and momentum start to slow down. The next obvious step in this fad is for the segment to reach its breaking point when weaker brands begin to fall away leaving only the strong to survive. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean change has...
Outside Insights
Within the quick-service restaurant industry, there is an urgent need for more effective and quantifiable marketing. The current use of conventional advertising and promotions does not work—it certainly does not work easily or affordably—and there must be a way to better engage consumers. The goal...
Quick service pizza brands innovate with menu using on trend toppings.
Menu Innovations
Over the past century, Americans have developed a special craving for certain foods, both at home and in restaurants—items like burgers and fries, sandwiches and fried chicken. And then there’s pizza. One of the nation’s most beloved meals, pizza is the sum of varied parts: crust, sauce, cheese,...
Outside Insights
Don’t you get tired of hearing about the impending minimum wage increase? It is no longer if it is going to happen, but rather when is it going to happen and what will the magnitude be? The reality is that nobody really knows, but if you look around, isn’t it already beginning to happen? In some...
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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 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,...
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 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...
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...
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 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...