Ken Switzer is Marco’s Pizza’s CFO and developed Marco’s Assurance.
Executive Insights
When banks wanted a third-party guarantee who didn’t have to sell their house to repay franchisee loans, Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco's Pizza, stepped in with an unusual idea. As a result of the frozen credit market, Switzer developed Marco's Assurance, which offers a $50,000 guarantee on franchisees...
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Consumers are buying more restaurant gift cards.
Industry News
For most retailers, the days after Christmas are awash with returned gifts. But many quick-service operators are seeing a flood of gift cards. Consumer spending for prepaid cards at limited-service restaurants soared this year, and the growth was even stronger during the holiday season, according...
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,...
Quick service companies encourage workers to give back to community.
Team Players
Quick-service executives have the capacity to do a lot of good outside just filling customer bellies with tasty food. Many choose to rally their loyal consumers behind a cause, creating fundraising opportunities and spreading awareness. Others go the extra mile to rally their own corporate team and...
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,...
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 beverage brand Smoothie King run by executive passionate for health.
Start to Finish: Wan Kim
When I started to look at this business, what I truly found beautiful was being able to bring my family every day. I am able to feed my children the very same products I strive to sell to the world. I love the foodservice business for that reason, but specifically Smoothie King for allowing me to...
Quick service brands can set menu prices based on food qualities.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 2
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one. Welcome back, class. Last we left off, we were discussing the shortcomings of a cost-plus approach to menu pricing and teasing more sophisticated strategies...
Quick service restaurant brands add nutritious items like kale to improve menus.
The Health Paradox
It’s the conundrum befuddling limited-service restaurant operators the world over: How do you answer consumer demand for healthier menu items when so many customers are scared away by health-food claims? How do you help fight off the nation’s obesity epidemic when the entire business is designed...
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....