There is a fine line between terrific and terrible cheap restaurant marketing ef
Promotions
In the teeth of the recession, Back Yard Burgers developed a new, slimmed-down marketing strategy. The roughly 200-unit, Nashville, Tennessee–based chain cut costs across the board, developed a slick-looking website, and created a social media strategy centered on Facebook and Twitter. But Ken King...
Seven trends will effect the way operators do business in 2011.
Industry News
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry...
Wendy's new Dave's Hot 'n Juicy Cheeseburger is being advertised by Wendy hersel
Industry News
Two decades ago, as Wendy’s was mired in a sales slump, the burger chain turned to its founder, Dave Thomas, to serve as its advertising voice. The move proved fortuitous. After a shaky start, Thomas evolved into the folksy, self-effacing face of the company—and a beloved American character. He...
Charlie Morrison went from interim to full-time executive at Pizza Inn.
Executive Insights
In an economic climate full of uncertainty and change, many businesses have turned to interim executives to right the ship. The quick-serve industry is no different. In June, Denny’s Corp. named chairwoman Debra Smithart-Oglesby interim CEO after Nelson Marchioli left the company. In August, El...
Pei Wei's menu is inspired by food from five Asian nations.
Industry News
There’s nothing unusual about a quick-serve concept doing a little bit of R&D homework in the culinary environment that inspired its menu. So when Chef Eric Justice, executive chef of Asian concept Pei Wei, visits Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea next year to do some menu...
Chicken on a stick can expand a concept’s menu offerings.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s been breaded, fried, broken into its constituent parts and pieces, and served in a bucket. It’s been basted, grilled, broken into chunks, and layered over greens and vegetables. It’s been dressed, pressed, formed into patties, slapped on a bun, and served as a sandwich. And it’s been roasted,...
New survey shows consumers gravitate toward combo meals when offered.
Industry News
Combo and value meal deals are part of the DNA of fast food restaurants, but two researchers find that changes to the meals could help quick serves steer customers toward healthier offerings. Kathryn Sharpe of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Professor Richard Staelin of...
Industry News
  Starbucks’ ambitious goal to have 100 percent of its cups be reusable or recyclable by 2015 may have just gotten much easier. The company announced a successful test with paper cup manufacturer International Paper and pulp mill Mississippi River Pulp that used recycled cups from stores to create...
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...
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...
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 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...
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 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 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...