Fast food sandwich brand offers indulgent grilled cheese menu options.
Emerging Concepts
The humble grilled cheese sandwich takes center stage at a California-based fast-casual restaurant known as The Melt. And the gooey sandwiches go on tour, too, in four converted school buses that grilled-cheese aficionados can book for weddings, parties, and concerts, or follow to festivals and...
Quick service restaurant executive Renae Scott talks enhancing franchise performance.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life, and my first restaurant job was as a waitress at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor when I was 16. After that, I worked in various restaurants, even at the Hyatt Maui, before I got into marketing and advertising. I stayed in it mostly because I think it’s...
Chicken chain Wing Zone delivers menu items via electric golf cart.
Industry News
The back-to-school season signals a return to more regular meal routines for families, and quick-service and fast-casual restaurants are working hard to be a part of those routines. Many limited-service brands are entrenching themselves in and around elementary schools, high schools, and the...
Outside Insights
Quick-serve restaurant owners are some of the busiest people you may ever know. In addition to sales, food quality, staffing, safety, regulations, marketing, staying ahead of the competition, and inventory management, quick-serve restaurant owners have to keep track of financial performance,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...