Grocery stores are providing food offerings that are competitive to fast food.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My dad has a strange way of expressing his affection. He’ll often refer to me as “his favorite daughter who lives west of the Mississippi”—faint praise, given that I only have one other sister, and she lives in Cincinnati. His remark may be a feeble attempt at some humor, but it reveals an...
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Emerald City Smoothie was founded by a group of business partners.
Executive Insights
Business partnerships, like marriages, start with a courtship, a honeymoon, and then either years of bliss or a torturous separation. Although most partnerships have their own form of prenuptial agreement with ownership arrangements and corporate papers, those can’t prevent turbulence and breakups...
Schlotzsky's lends a hand to minority franchisees to encourage more diversity.
Franchising
Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer...
The BeMoved machine from Sara Lee lets customers interact with their coffee.
Ordering
Imagine this: You walk into a McDonald’s for a quick bite on a workday. The place is busy, and customers are unwrapping their food at the tables and biting into burgers, salads, and wraps. But when you push to the counter, there is no one there to take your order. No cashier smiling at you in a...
Marketing with grand openings is worth the time and effort when opening a store.
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
Once upon a time, there was a used car lot with a tan building, some pavement, and a lot of fast, gray cars, as well as one Volkswagen with no engine and a sign that read, “Great mileage.” One warm day, lightning cracked in the West and pretty soon a storm hit. It hailed ball bearings for a full...
Restaurant operators should take stance against swipe fees with government help.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
Each of the last two years, I have been fortunate to take part in the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The NRA provides briefings on top issues, and attendees hear from some great speakers. However, the most important work happens when the 500...
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By integrating social media with traditional marketing, brands can engage fans.
Outside Insights
The 30-second TV spot has been a staple of food-industry advertisers for decades, but its time is running short. And quick serves need to switch up the marketing menu—before it’s too late. Why? The average TV advertisement, which is made up of 23 seconds of brand message and about seven of value...
Zpizza's Mexican Pizza
Industry News
With Cinco de Mayo approaching, Zpizza is getting ready to show customers that it’s not just a pizza chain—it’s a pizza chain with Latin flair. “What’s interesting about Zpizza is, surprisingly enough, Zpizza was born out of an idea that originated as a Mexican restaurant,” says Brandi Babb, vice...
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...
Quick service restaurant giant Taco Bell innovates breakfast menu with biscuit taco.
Taco Bell Is At It Again
Brian Niccol is a man on a mission. In the nearly two years since Niccol was tabbed as Taco Bell’s president, and in the three months since he became chief executive, the Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant chain has been an innovation engine for its parent company, Yum! Brands. Last year...
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 chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
Quick service and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...
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...