David and Camille Rutkauskas have built BBI into a global portfolio of brands.
Growth
David Rutkauskas was fresh out of college when he decided to help his father fulfill his dream of opening a deli in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Health Deli, which opened on the base floor of an office building in 1987, became a family affair, with Rutkauskas and his parents all pitching in to shop...
Industry News
Lawmakers and restaurant leaders gathered today at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss pressing legislative issues affecting the industry. Leading the day’s agenda was a focus on health care repeal. “We want them [employees] to have access...
Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is a spokesman for Wingstop.
Industry News
Billionaire owners, millionaire players, an increasingly disenchanted fan base, mounds of legal speak, and segments of the quick-service industry wondering what it all might mean to their bottom line—it’s a recipe for a dish many restaurant brands would rather not make. The National Football League...
Rochelle Johnson and Nick Hawthorne-Johnson at the opening of The Cookery.
Industry News
The still-struggling economy is stifling the business aspirations of would-be entrepreneurs who do not have the access to capital necessary to get an operation up and running. This is especially true in the quick-serve industry, where the costs of leasing a space and building out a kitchen can be...
Industry News
Seattle’s Best Coffee, following in its recently announced tagline to be “Anywhere Great Coffee is Needed,” announced that it is providing support to nonprofit organizations in the form of coffee—and a $5,000 donation. The brand recently launched its “Brew-lanthropy Project,” an effort to reward...
The BP oil spill in the Gulf emptied beaches and scared seafood consumers.
Sustainability
There is a constant murmur during the July 27, 2010, Congressional hearing before the Committee on Energy and Commerce. As politicians shuffle in and out from their burgundy leather seats, Ken Feinberg, made famous for distributing insurance claims to 9/11 victims and their families, stays still,...
Industry News
A WWII soldier opened a package from home on the front lines, just before the Battle of the Bulge. Two Cheerwines were among the contents, and he and another North Carolinian downed the two bottles and went to battle. Bob Morgon was one of few soldiers to come back from that battle, and he let...
BannaStrow's, a Miami crepe concept, is getting international expansion help.
Industry News
On April 10, Mauricio Acevedo, the CEO of Miami-based crepe concept BannaStrow’s, will head to India to visit Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. While there, Acevedo will meet with entrepreneurs who are interested in partnering with the brand to open stores in each market. But BannaStrow’s isn’t...
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 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...
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 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...
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 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...