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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...