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...
Pinkberry frozen yogurt is now available across the country.
Emerging Concepts
Ron Graves, CEO of Pinkberry, says the six-year-old frozen yogurt chain could be growing faster than it already is, but that the bar is set high for potential partners. “We have thousands of inquiries from people who want to be franchisees, but we have a very distinct screening process we go...
Franchisees should take advantage of their franchisor's resources.
Franchising
After 17 years on the corporate side of quick service, Rob Parsons stepped out of the suit, threw on a purple polo, and opened his first Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen unit in 2009. Having previously worked for the real-estate division of Popeyes and at Denny’s corporate, Parsons helped his first store...
Brand extensions like McDonald's McCafe can build sales in a big way.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
What do Bic underwear, Harley-Davidson wine coolers, and Jamba Juice soup have in common? They’re all ways companies have tried to extend their brands—and they all failed. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the rough and manly image of the Harley brand wouldn’t fit with the light and girly...
Quick serves can save money by scheduling employees more efficiently.
Human Resources
With expenses from commodities to health care continuing to put increasing pressure on margins, many operators are looking closer than ever at their labor costs and how to cut them. While the default action for most operators is to cut employees or their hours, workforce-management experts say the...
WiFi enabled devices can be a security threat to fast food wireless networks.
Outside Insights
According to recent analysis by AirTight Networks, there is a very high incidence of wireless vulnerabilities among organizations that are subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), highlighting the need for wireless scanning as outlined in the PCI DSS Wireless Guideline...
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Tasti D-Lite's treats have been popular with celebrities like Taylor Swift.
Emerging Concepts
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Since the late ’80s, New York City has had a secret: a sweet, creamy, frozen dairy dessert that won’t mess up a model’s diet, or anyone else’s for that matter. The secret has gotten out, however, as Tasti D-Lite stores have opened in places as close to the Big Apple as New Jersey and Connecticut,...
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...
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 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...
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 brands can use big data to plan strategic growth.
Data: The Most Important Ingredient
Selling food for profit dates back to the evolution of human society itself: from outside eateries in ancient Rome and China to the evolution of fine dining in France to the mushrooming of the fast-food industry, drive thru, and takeaway inns in the last decade. Restaurants have changed along with...
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...