Consumers are buying more restaurant gift cards.
Industry News
For most retailers, the days after Christmas are awash with returned gifts. But many quick-service operators are seeing a flood of gift cards. Consumer spending for prepaid cards at limited-service restaurants soared this year, and the growth was even stronger during the holiday season, according...
There is a fine line between terrific and terrible cheap restaurant marketing ef
Promotions
In the teeth of the recession, Back Yard Burgers developed a new, slimmed-down marketing strategy. The roughly 200-unit, Nashville, Tennessee–based chain cut costs across the board, developed a slick-looking website, and created a social media strategy centered on Facebook and Twitter. But Ken King...
Seven trends will effect the way operators do business in 2011.
Industry News
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry...
Wendy's new Dave's Hot 'n Juicy Cheeseburger is being advertised by Wendy hersel
Industry News
Two decades ago, as Wendy’s was mired in a sales slump, the burger chain turned to its founder, Dave Thomas, to serve as its advertising voice. The move proved fortuitous. After a shaky start, Thomas evolved into the folksy, self-effacing face of the company—and a beloved American character. He...
Charlie Morrison went from interim to full-time executive at Pizza Inn.
Executive Insights
In an economic climate full of uncertainty and change, many businesses have turned to interim executives to right the ship. The quick-serve industry is no different. In June, Denny’s Corp. named chairwoman Debra Smithart-Oglesby interim CEO after Nelson Marchioli left the company. In August, El...
Pei Wei's menu is inspired by food from five Asian nations.
Industry News
There’s nothing unusual about a quick-serve concept doing a little bit of R&D homework in the culinary environment that inspired its menu. So when Chef Eric Justice, executive chef of Asian concept Pei Wei, visits Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea next year to do some menu...
Chicken on a stick can expand a concept’s menu offerings.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s been breaded, fried, broken into its constituent parts and pieces, and served in a bucket. It’s been basted, grilled, broken into chunks, and layered over greens and vegetables. It’s been dressed, pressed, formed into patties, slapped on a bun, and served as a sandwich. And it’s been roasted,...
New survey shows consumers gravitate toward combo meals when offered.
Industry News
Combo and value meal deals are part of the DNA of fast food restaurants, but two researchers find that changes to the meals could help quick serves steer customers toward healthier offerings. Kathryn Sharpe of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Professor Richard Staelin of...
Quick serve chicken chain rolls out coffee that benefits bean growers.
Morning Jolt
Chick-fil-A joined the breakfast innovation bandwagon with a renewed commitment to offering better coffee. And the chicken chain took the initiative one step further by partnering with a network of specialty coffee farmers in Central America known as THRIVE. The handpicked, proprietary coffee blend...
Premium quick service restaurant chain dishes out upscale and local foods.
Ones To Watch: Modmarket
In 2008, Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan were two young professionals looking for a place to have a healthy lunch on a regular basis. When they couldn’t find one, the pair decided to create one. They pooled their knowledge to create Modmarket. “We felt very strongly that there needed to be...
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...
Fast food restaurant in Austin holds city wide 5k race to raise funds for charity.
Hot to Trot
While families around the U.S. gather this year for Thanksgiving Day dinner, a casual game of touch football, and the annual parade, some Austin, Texas, residents will sport their running gear for the annual ThunderCloud Subs Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Since its inception in 1991, the 5K...
Quick service restaurant executives could take notes from transportation startup Uber.
How to Be the Uber of Fast Food
Q: Many fast-food restaurants are beefing up their mobile capabilities. What is the best way to tap into this trend? A: Getting in on the mobile ordering—or mobile payment or mobile marketing—trend shouldn’t be our objective. Instead, we should ask, “How can we use mobile technology to disrupt our...
Quick service concepts with breakfast focus offer more menu items for lunch day part.
Taking a Bite Out of Lunch
As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand. Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts,...
Quick service operators can make money through market based pricing strategies.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 3
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one, and here to read part two. Hello again QSR readers! Before we dig into another alternative pricing strategy, we want to take a moment to look back at where...