Steve Ells, CEO of Chipotle, on NBC's "America's Next Great Restaurant."
Executive Insights
You’ve heard of celebrity chefs entering the quick-service industry, but celebrity CEOs? Soon, they might be just as common. Take Chipotle’s Steve Ells, for example. Ells wasn’t exactly an unknown before March 6. But when America’s Next Great Restaurant premiered on NBC that night to the tune of...
Mediterranean food like hummus is growing in popularity on quick-serve menus.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s taken many hundreds of years and bottomless reserves of diligence, creativity, and determination for cooks and chefs from southern Italy to southern France, from Morocco to Greece, and from Spain to Algeria to perfect the special blends of herbs, spices, and other ingredients that lend their...
Garbanzo's menu includes several Mediterranean staples, like hummus and pita.
Emerging Concepts
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The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been getting a lot of attention in recent years, and quick-serve restaurants have also been a “big thing,” says Alon Mor, founder of Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. And the economy … well, two out of three isn’t bad. “We’ve never operated in good days...
Jared Fogle, Michael Strahan, and fans participate at a Subway-sponsored event.
Promotions
In 2000, David Miller went from being the COO at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants to being the owner/operator of 28 Rally’s restaurants in Kentucky and southern Indiana. Since that deal, Miller has successfully promoted his restaurants by using sports to draw in customers. Miller has been a long-time...
Read Full Story // read more about: Marketing, Checkers, Rally's
Grocery stores are providing food offerings that are competitive to fast food.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My dad has a strange way of expressing his affection. He’ll often refer to me as “his favorite daughter who lives west of the Mississippi”—faint praise, given that I only have one other sister, and she lives in Cincinnati. His remark may be a feeble attempt at some humor, but it reveals an...
Read Full Story // read more about: Marketing, Competition
Emerald City Smoothie was founded by a group of business partners.
Executive Insights
Business partnerships, like marriages, start with a courtship, a honeymoon, and then either years of bliss or a torturous separation. Although most partnerships have their own form of prenuptial agreement with ownership arrangements and corporate papers, those can’t prevent turbulence and breakups...
Schlotzsky's lends a hand to minority franchisees to encourage more diversity.
Franchising
Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer...
The BeMoved machine from Sara Lee lets customers interact with their coffee.
Ordering
Imagine this: You walk into a McDonald’s for a quick bite on a workday. The place is busy, and customers are unwrapping their food at the tables and biting into burgers, salads, and wraps. But when you push to the counter, there is no one there to take your order. No cashier smiling at you in a...
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 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...
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 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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...
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...