Getting customers through a restaurant efficiently is crucial in a down economy.
Ordering
Work smarter, not harder; successful operators have paid attention to this adage recently more than ever. With rising food and labor costs and a competitive consumer market with less discretionary income, operators have had to get creative to fully maximize profits during the recession. Part of...
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
My June 2010 column was about childhood obesity. I talked about what’s encouraged it and I proposed some solutions. I received a lot of responses. One in particular stopped me flat in my cowboy boots. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, had a lot...
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George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
While I have covered many aspects of operations and the fast-casual segment in past columns, the election season has prompted me to think about the big picture and our industry’s place in society. The other day a friend of mine tried to convince me to get out of my dead-end career field so that I...
Kevin West, Tim Hortons' director of coffee operations
Executive Insights
Kevin West will tell you he’s been working in the coffee industry since he was 10 years old, when he would spend free time at a coffee roasting plant with his father, watching, learning, and tasting. Now, as director of coffee operations for Tim Hortons, West tastes more than 300 cups a day to...
Franchisors must provide strong local store marketing tools to ensure franchisee
Promotions
One of the greatest franchisee frustrations centers on local marketing and the struggle to obtain marketing materials targeted to their particular location and demographics. Too often, operators are provided with little or no local marketing support—when they are, the options they receive are...
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You’re fast, you’re accurate, but today’s consumers want more from your drive-th
Industry News
Ralph Bower and his colleagues at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw room for improvement. For years, the Atlanta-based brand’s drive-thru experience suffered in industry studies, while the company’s own internal and external measures found drive-thru customers wanting. In search of better results,...
Some casual-dining chains are offering quick-serve prototypes in an attempt capt
Emerging Concepts
As the old saw goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and to put it mildly, the Great Recession bred a lot of necessity. For the quick-service sector, the deprivation cut several ways. There was the “trading down” phenomenon, where some cash-strapped consumers chose fast-casual...
Affluent customers have contributed to the success of chains like Panera Bread.
Industry News
According to a recent study by American Express Business Insights, ultra-affluent consumers increased quick-serve spending by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter last year. Ultra-affluent customers are defined as those who charge more than $7,000 per month on...
Fresh Bread
Bread may be the staff of life, but it’s really pretty basic: flour, water, yeast, and salt, or some sort of substitute for the latter two. However, the way these items are combined, as well as other ingredients that are added, can make a huge difference in taste and texture, as quick-service...
Quick service restaurant Bojangles serves indulgent Southern food like chicken biscuits.
It’s Bo Time
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...
5 Advantages with Cloud Accounting
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,...
Quick service restaurant franchisees help franchisor by building new computer software.
Helping Out the Boss
Every franchisee has the opportunity to bring specialized business savvy to its quick-service units, but it’s rare that a single operator affects the entire system. That’s exactly what Pennsylvania-based Colleen and Bret Wagner did when they introduced their proprietary software system to the...
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...
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...
Coffee Concepts Can Target Lunch Guests with Demographic Data
First, Taco Bell turned the burrito on its side with the launch of a new breakfast menu, and now, traditional morning daypart chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are looking to extend their bite to the much-larger lunch slice. Although Dunkin’ has been after the coffee-drinking market that makes up...