Industry News
Atlanta-based fast casual Moe’s Southwest Grill recently unveiled a new prototype that it will roll out in new units this year. The changes made for the new prototype, though, are subtler than those made at most brands that revamp their concept and focus mostly on sustainability, efficiency, and a...
Saladworks franchisee Unmesh Patel.
Industry News
Saladworks recently opened its first North Carolina location with the help of a franchisee who hopes to preach the benefits of healthy food in barbecue country. Unmesh Patel opened his first of three planned Saladworks units on March 9 in the food court of The Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham...
Larry King helped open his first Original Brooklyn Water Bagel unit.
Industry News
Beverly Hills rolled out the red carpet for the March 17 grand-opening event of the West Coast’s first Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. store. The Boca Raton, Florida–based quick serve received a celebrity’s welcome not only for its proprietary equipment that re-creates Brooklyn water for its...
IEG chairman Lesa Ukman
Industry News
Jimmy John’s and NASCAR. McDonald’s and the Olympics. Taco Bell and Major League Baseball. Papa John’s and the National Football League. With consumers increasingly difficult to reach given the fragmented media landscape, sponsorship has inherited a more accepted and important role in corporations...
President Obama's health care reform bill is confusing quick serve operators.
Human Resources
While Democrats and Republicans battle over President Obama’s health care reform—a battle that intensified in January when U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida declared the reform unconstitutional—chain-store operators all over the country are struggling to figure out what they have to do...
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Gas prices are skyrocketing but restaurants have yet to feel the impact.
Industry News
Despite surging gas prices in the face of global disaster and conflict, restaurant operators across the U.S. are trying to stay focused on other challenges—even though gas prices have a slew of direct and indirect impacts on the restaurant business. “When we survey restaurant operators about what...
Industry News
Chicago remains the last major U.S. city to get on board with the food-truck trend, due largely to a city ordinance that states operators can serve but not prepare food on the streets. That may soon change, however, as culinary-school grads hungry for jobs fight brick-and-mortar restaurateurs to...
Table service restaurants are struggling as they balance price and menu options.
Competition
In many cases, it’s a different consumer out there today deciding where to dine when the urge hits. Throughout the recession, full-service restaurants offered so many fire-sale bargains that those little affected by the economy could almost feel guilty for practically stealing meals when they would...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...