Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn is getting into the quick serve world.
Executive Insights
Spike Mendelsohn is a reality TV star. For those who watch Top Chef, he needs little introduction. After eight seasons, the Bravo hit series just wrapped an all-star version of its famous competition show where cheftestants are pitted against each other to earn industry respect, cash prizes, and,...
Ludo Lefebvre is the chef who made pop up restaurants popular.
Consumer Trends
In 2007, Ludo Lefebvre did what no businessman should ever do: He made an important business decision out of fear. Faced with the opportunity to use millions of dollars in investments to open a restaurant, the Los Angeles–based celebrity chef balked at committing himself to 10–15 years sweating in...
CEOs must measure their company's health and inject life into their brand.
Growth
Since May 2010, TCBY has introduced a self-serve prototype, revamped its store design, and signed a deal to open 200 stores in Texas over the next 10 years. It was no coincidence that TCBY hired a new CEO that same month. “Growing the brand was a high priority [when I started],” says Tim Casey, who...
Happy meals ended up in the crosshairs of San Francisco legislators.
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
OK, I’ve had it.   Those of you who read this column know that I am a problem/solution kind of guy. If I have a problem, I have a proposed solution, and I use this column as my platform. My problem is government intervention in the quick-serve business. My solution will come later. They went way...
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Rendering of LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto, California.
Industry News
Chef Art Smith will let you in on a little secret: Even chefs eat a lot of fast food. “They might tell you that they don’t, but they do,” says the two-time James Beard Award winner who owns two fine dining restaurants and was Oprah’s personal chef for 10 years. Smith used to be no exception; his...
Chefs speak out about what they think will affect quick service in 2011.
Industry News
Each year QSR surveys the best and the brightest culinary professionals in the industry to find out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to your menu. The exclusive annual Chef Survey, unveils innovative menu items that reflect the year’s newest and most exciting inspirations. Among their...
Female leadership can help propel the fast casual industry forward.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
As someone who has always been proud of the opportunities our industry has provided to women and minorities, I have been disappointed by the small number of women I have seen at industry conferences, especially those with a high number of attendees from the fast-casual and quick-service segments....
Ice cream sandwiches present innovative dessert option for fast food.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
Ever gotten thoroughly sick of eating ice cream? Ever cringed at the idea of taking yet another lap of a French vanilla cone flecked with chocolate sprinkles, or recoiled at the thought of having to choke down a second scoop of triple-chocolate brownie fudge ripple with almonds, marshmallow, and...
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...
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...
More Wall Street investors look to buy stock in fast casual and quick service concepts.
The Push for Public
When fast-casual chain Zoës Kitchen Inc. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last April, the Plano, Texas–based Mediterranean-style eatery recorded its initial public offering at $87.5 million. Satisfying an investor appetite for investments within the trendy fast-casual space, Zoës’ strong...
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...
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...
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...