Seventy-three stories shaped the restaurant industry in 2010.
Competition
Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson 1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors,...
Fried chicken still dominates the menu at Golden Chick.
Emerging Concepts
Golden Chick, with stores in Texas and Oklahoma, maintains a philosophy of controlled, concentric, regional growth—except for one very big exception. “We should see our first unit in China open some time next year,” says Golden Chick president Mark Parmerlee. Golden Chick minority partner Allen...
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Breakfast items at fast casuals can grow business effectively.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
Seven years ago, at the height of the Atkins craze, our sales were down especially at breakfast. Our amazing artisan breakfast pastries and breads stayed on the shelves. And our customers stayed at home instead of just coming in to get the specialty coffee drink that had accompanied their...
Bahama Buck's record-setting snow cone will be 25,000–30,000 pounds.
Industry News
As a way to celebrate its 20th anniversary and raise money for a charity in its hometown of Lubbock, Texas, shaved ice concept Bahama Buck’s announced that it will build the world’s largest snow cone next week. The Guinness World Record–setting attempt will stretch over three days, December 7–9,...
Restaurants can’t afford to undermine their brand image with poor service.
Industry News
Credit flowed so freely before the recession that people in the restaurant industry often use hyperbole to describe how easy it was to get financing before the collapse. “I could have gotten my dog a loan three years ago,” says Paul Steck, president of Saladworks. “The perception was, anyone who...
Restaurants can benefit operationally and financially through workplace safety p
Outside Insights
It is widely believed that employees are a company’s most valuable assets. Yet in the course of meeting customer demands and managing unpredictable daily operations, many businesses overlook the importance of having a thoughtful workplace safety program in place to protect their most valuable...
Companies looking for improvement in 2011 should work on communication.
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
We’ve reached the end of the year, and it’s time for my take on a few of the things I’ve seen happen within companies and among people in 2010. And it’s time to offer some suggestions on how to make it better in the upcoming New Year. I grew up on the far south side of Chicago, near the Gary,...
Even in a down economy, consumers expect quick serves to support a cause.
Charitable Giving
Although the down economy has forced many operators to focus on the nitty gritty of business details and ignore the outside-the-store activities, customers still expect brands to stand for a good cause. According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, which analyzes consumers’ expectations and...
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Health and wellness restaurant CEO shares his history in starting nutritious brand.
Start to Finish: Matthew Corrin
I worked in the fashion business, so I became super focused and super aware of the importance of health and wellness and looking great in front of cameras through my first job out of college. And I basically surrounded myself with a bunch of these mom-and-pop delis in Manhattan that were catering...
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...
Quick service restaurant brands hire workers by the season to cover busy times.
Always in Season
Running a quick-service restaurant often requires relying on seasonal employees who come from high school or college, or stay-at-home parents who work when school is in session. Many of these employees tend not to stick around for longer than a season, which means operators must constantly invest...
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...
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...
Fast food brands jump on board pumpking flavor trend with innovative menu items.
Beyond Pumpkin
Pumpkin has long reigned as king of the fall, but this year, limited-service brands are not just adding a pumpkin pastry and calling it a season. Instead, several quick-service and fast-casual concepts introduced non-pumpkin products and innovative spins on the pumpkin flavor, while also launching...
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...