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...
Gandolfo's plans to take its deli items to the street through franchised trucks.
Industry News
While established quick-service brands have entered the food truck scene—Qdoba and Dairy Queen, to name just two—Georgia-based Pool’s Restaurant Group, parent company of Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, is going one step further. The company is franchising Gandolfo’s trucks and using the mobile...
Industry News
In an effort to engage its fans on Facebook, Pita Pit will hold a contest on the popular social network that will let the public name the concept’s newest pita. The “Name That Pita” contest, which will be held from March 21 to March 27, will ask fans to come up with a name for the new, limited-time...
Quick serves can get in front of millions of customers through sports marketing.
Promotions
Statisticians aren’t sitting cross-legged in labs, running complex algorithms on Papa John’s Super Bowl sales. A supercomputer isn’t littering the floor of a scientist’s basement, crunching cross-promotions of the FIFA World Cup. And Harry Potter has yet to cast an ROI-analysis spell. Sports...
Unilever executive chef Gerald Tomlinson speaks at the company's relaunch.
Industry News
As foodservice operators endure the challenge of staying ahead of guests’ expectations, one reality is becoming increasingly clear in the restaurant game: The status quo will no longer do. Today’s consumers seek a greater mix of quality, value, and healthy options when dining out. This foodservice...
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...
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...
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...
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...