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...
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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...
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...
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...
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...