Two Fiesta Restaurant brands leverage resources for expansion in Southeast.
QSR 50
Like a tropical storm, many different elements came together in 2013 to create a standout year for Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company to fast-casual brands Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. After years of climbing sales and store counts, tinkering with the store design and menu, and strategic...
Competition
Craig Bernstein knew he wanted to be a restaurateur as early as the sixth grade, and in the summer of 2013, he transformed those childhood ambitions into a reality with the debut of Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. Named in honor of Bernstein’s father, Dr. Robert Bernstein, the Chicago-based eatery is a...
Competition
Thanks to British ex-pat Nathan Coe and his Nantucket Pasty Co., the pasty is becoming a household term—and an oft-enjoyed culinary item—in the seaside community of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Leveraging the talents of Culinary Institute of America–trained pastry chef Josh Smerdon, the two-year-old...
Quick service restaurant Bojangles serves indulgent Southern food like chicken biscuits.
QSR 50
Charlotte, North Carolina–based Bojangles’ may fall into the chicken quick-service category, but as any executive, operator, employee, or loyal fan will tell you, it’s all about the biscuit. And for good reason: The item is included or featured in nearly 80 of the brand’s menu items, a fact that...
Use word-of-mouth marketing to score cheap but effective brand exposure.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: Everyone says word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of marketing, but how do you actually create it? A: Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has always been very powerful, but today’s technology and culture make it a particularly ripe time to harvest its power. The primary way to get the most out of...
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Breakfast quick service restaurants add new food options for later snacking.
Industry News
Earlier this year, research firm The NPD Group confirmed what many in the quick-service industry have known for years: The breakfast wars are real, and there’s more at stake then a Waffle Taco or a better cup of coffee. NPD’s “A Look into the Future of Foodservice” report found that the quick-...
Quick service bread choices expand with popular consumer trends.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s hard for aficionados in any field to avoid the desert-island question. For music mavens, it boils down to, “Which album would you take with you, if you could only take one?” Movie lovers have to decide which film they’d want to watch, possibly in perpetuity—a question that bears careful...
Fast food brands like Auntie Annes redesign store interior to draw new consumers.
In the Store
Restaurant redesigns and renovations are a big undertaking for quick-serve brands and often involve a certain level of risk. But renovations are also increasingly appealing for operators looking to improve their store design and environment and the financial benefits that might come with it....
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 create executive succession strategies to ease transition.
Navigating Corporate Succession
The chief executive officer is often the face of a brand. And when the time comes for a new leader to assume the role, experts say, an efficient succession plan can help establish a smooth transition and reassure employees that all is well with the brand. In its first-ever succession, Elevation...
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...
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...
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...
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...