The pizza industry is trying to stage a comeback after a decade of declines.
Competition
What’s happened to pizza’s major players? In 2000, the QSR 50 Report, this magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s top quick-service brands, showed a robust American appetite for pizza, a category trailing only burger joints in representation. With pizza chains claiming four of the list’s top 15...
The leading women in the quick service industry.
Industry News
Just last year, women crossed the 50 percent threshold in the U.S. workforce, and for the first time in history represent the majority of working Americans. Even in our own industry, more than 50 percent of restaurants are now owned by women—a statistic released by the National Restaurant...
Ron Shaich is the founder of Panera Bread.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
Last October, I attended an industry conference and saw Panera’s founder Ron Shaich moderate a panel of great industry leaders. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know I also had the chance to ask Ron a question about the development and future of the fast-casual industry. Ron answered by noting...
Public relations strategies go beyond press releases to the media.
Outside Insights
Sending press releases out to the media promoting your restaurant is smart; however, if you don’t have a crafted public relations plan, then you’re wasting your time. Any successful marketing plan must be reinforced with a well-researched public relations plan. There are plenty of ways to create a...
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The Ronald McDonald House is one of the most successful cause programs ever.
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
As far back as I can remember in my McDonald’s career, Ray Kroc preached the importance of giving back to the community. He always said that if we were going to take money from the residents, we should be giving back value to the place where they lived and worked. He called it being “Mr. McDonald’s...
Coupons may one day be available on interactive TVs.
Promotions
Interactive television, or iTV, might not be the next big thing in restaurant advertising. But with TV technology continuing to evolve and incorporate greater interactivity, it might be the next big thing after the next big thing—especially considering that the technology seems uniquely suited to...
Domino's used its head chef in advertisements promoting its new pizza recipe.
Promotions
Marketing executives have known for years that using hard-at-work, nice-looking, real employees in a TV spot can symbolize a brand’s corporate commitment to quality and service. But any marketer getting ready to take this idea to his ad people should first take some time to consider that using real...
Popeyes is one brand that spent time and money changing its brand name.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” With all due respect, I must disagree with Shakespeare on his famous quote from the play Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps names don’t matter when you’re in love, but they matter a lot in the restaurant business. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the...
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...
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 brands create executive succession strategies to ease transition.
Navigating Corporate Succession
The chief executive officer is often the face of a brand. And when the time comes for a new leader to assume the role, experts say, an efficient succession plan can help establish a smooth transition and reassure employees that all is well with the brand. In its first-ever succession, Elevation...
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...
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...