The annual NRA show gives quick service and fast casual operators helpful advice
Industry News
Saturday, May 17 Sunday, May 18 Monday, May 19 Tuesday, May 20 The Chicago Scene Food News Media at the Show   The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) annual Show is one of the restaurant industry’s must-attend events. With thousands of company booths to explore, educational sessions...
Quick service breakfast competition competes for restaurant super fans.
Outside Insights
Competition in the quick-service industry is heating up after Taco Bell rolled out hard-hitting advertising for its new breakfast menu with jabs at McDonald’s that suggest the quick-service leader is not keeping up with the times. McDonald’s, meanwhile, is grappling with recent quarterly results...
Fast food chicken restaurant in Chicago borrows dining experience from club.
Industry News
Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are not your typical restaurateurs, and that's just the way they like it. Call them alternative or off the cuff, the close friends and business partners are growing a foodservice brand built around a relational dining experience. Cikowski and Kulp met in culinary...
Florida based fast casual Burger 21 serves high quality menu in upscale setting.
Emerging Concepts
Despite the research and years of experience that went into creating Burger 21, the concept’s president has been surprised by one aspect of the business: the brand’s broad consumer appeal. “The amazing thing we didn’t predict was so many parties coming in with three generations,” says Mark Johnston...
Florida quick serve Huahua's Taqueria serves Mexican fare in outdoor setting.
Emerging Concepts
Opened in July 2013 by Miami restaurateurs Michael Boles and Niloy Thakkar, Huahua’s elevates the taco’s presence in South Beach. The concept pairs traditional Mexican favorites with avant-garde offerings crafted by Culinary Institute of America–trained chef Todd Erickson. With just three seats in...
Tropical Smoothie Café's CEO shares how he built a lifestyle brand.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I worked at Baskin-Robbins all through high school and all through college, and really got into management. I did everything for the franchisee when I was in college—I ordered product, I hired, I fired, I did payroll. So it really got me into the business and hospitality. I thought it was a lot of...
Fast food brands scale food safety efforts up as they grow across the country.
Food Safety
It could happen to any restaurant. Business is strong, with sales and unit counts growing quickly. Optimism abounds for a healthy future. And then it happens. Contaminated food supplies filter into the system. Hundreds of customers get sick. Traffic and sales plunge as consumers worry over the food...
Quick service chains apply for trademark names to secure competitive advantage.
Competition
With constant pressure to churn out innovative menu items, some quick serves are protecting and marketing unique creations through trademarks, which, while tricky to obtain, have paid off handsomely for many owners and operators. At Austin, Texas­–based Schlotzsky’s, a trademarked sandwich known as...
Quick service concepts with breakfast focus offer more menu items for lunch day part.
Taking a Bite Out of Lunch
As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand. Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts,...
Food service operators open mobile carts and trucks to serve menu at events.
Taking This Show on the Road
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...
McDonalds is one major fast food chain to incorporate Apple's new mobile tool.
Apple’s Game Changer
Although the concept of consumers using their smartphones to pay for food at limited-service restaurants is nothing new, the mobile payment industry is expected to get a huge boost with last month’s launch of Apple Pay. The payment service is available with Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus....
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...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
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 restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
The Lighter Side
Offering healthier dining options is essential in today’s competitive marketplace, even for a brand built on indulgence. Sometimes, though, it takes clever marketing to draw consumers’ attention to these better-for-you items. CKE sister brands Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. did just that with the June...