Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
My June 2010 column was about childhood obesity. I talked about what’s encouraged it and I proposed some solutions. I received a lot of responses. One in particular stopped me flat in my cowboy boots. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, had a lot...
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George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
While I have covered many aspects of operations and the fast-casual segment in past columns, the election season has prompted me to think about the big picture and our industry’s place in society. The other day a friend of mine tried to convince me to get out of my dead-end career field so that I...
Kevin West, Tim Hortons' director of coffee operations
Executive Insights
Kevin West will tell you he’s been working in the coffee industry since he was 10 years old, when he would spend free time at a coffee roasting plant with his father, watching, learning, and tasting. Now, as director of coffee operations for Tim Hortons, West tastes more than 300 cups a day to...
Franchisors must provide strong local store marketing tools to ensure franchisee
Promotions
One of the greatest franchisee frustrations centers on local marketing and the struggle to obtain marketing materials targeted to their particular location and demographics. Too often, operators are provided with little or no local marketing support—when they are, the options they receive are...
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You’re fast, you’re accurate, but today’s consumers want more from your drive-th
Industry News
Ralph Bower and his colleagues at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw room for improvement. For years, the Atlanta-based brand’s drive-thru experience suffered in industry studies, while the company’s own internal and external measures found drive-thru customers wanting. In search of better results,...
Some casual-dining chains are offering quick-serve prototypes in an attempt capt
Emerging Concepts
As the old saw goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and to put it mildly, the Great Recession bred a lot of necessity. For the quick-service sector, the deprivation cut several ways. There was the “trading down” phenomenon, where some cash-strapped consumers chose fast-casual...
Affluent customers have contributed to the success of chains like Panera Bread.
Industry News
According to a recent study by American Express Business Insights, ultra-affluent consumers increased quick-serve spending by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter last year. Ultra-affluent customers are defined as those who charge more than $7,000 per month on...
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Chipotle CEO Steve Ells dress as processed foods
Industry News
With Halloween approaching, it is hard to say who is more excited: kids eager to go trick-or-treating or businesses looking to explore frighteningly creative marketing strategies. In the restaurant industry, which has a natural tie-in to the food-centric, sugar-fueled occasion, many companies are...
Fast food brands jump on board pumpking flavor trend with innovative menu items.
Beyond Pumpkin
Pumpkin has long reigned as king of the fall, but this year, limited-service brands are not just adding a pumpkin pastry and calling it a season. Instead, several quick-service and fast-casual concepts introduced non-pumpkin products and innovative spins on the pumpkin flavor, while also launching...
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Fresh Bread
Bread may be the staff of life, but it’s really pretty basic: flour, water, yeast, and salt, or some sort of substitute for the latter two. However, the way these items are combined, as well as other ingredients that are added, can make a huge difference in taste and texture, as quick-service...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...
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...
Food service operators open mobile carts and trucks to serve menu at events.
Taking This Show on the Road
Forget the rock-hard pretzels and suspicious-looking hot dogs that cart vendors were once known for. Nowadays, the mobile foodservice space is populated by specialty coffee concepts, gourmet popcorn carts, and Korean barbecue on wheels. And business is booming for these operators as they look to...
Quick service restaurant brands hire workers by the season to cover busy times.
Always in Season
Running a quick-service restaurant often requires relying on seasonal employees who come from high school or college, or stay-at-home parents who work when school is in session. Many of these employees tend not to stick around for longer than a season, which means operators must constantly invest...