Rendering of LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto, California.
Industry News
Chef Art Smith will let you in on a little secret: Even chefs eat a lot of fast food. “They might tell you that they don’t, but they do,” says the two-time James Beard Award winner who owns two fine dining restaurants and was Oprah’s personal chef for 10 years. Smith used to be no exception; his...
Chefs speak out about what they think will affect quick service in 2011.
Industry News
Each year QSR surveys the best and the brightest culinary professionals in the industry to find out what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to your menu. The exclusive annual Chef Survey, unveils innovative menu items that reflect the year’s newest and most exciting inspirations. Among their...
Female leadership can help propel the fast casual industry forward.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
As someone who has always been proud of the opportunities our industry has provided to women and minorities, I have been disappointed by the small number of women I have seen at industry conferences, especially those with a high number of attendees from the fast-casual and quick-service segments....
Ice cream sandwiches present innovative dessert option for fast food.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
Ever gotten thoroughly sick of eating ice cream? Ever cringed at the idea of taking yet another lap of a French vanilla cone flecked with chocolate sprinkles, or recoiled at the thought of having to choke down a second scoop of triple-chocolate brownie fudge ripple with almonds, marshmallow, and...
Pinkberry frozen yogurt is now available across the country.
Emerging Concepts
Ron Graves, CEO of Pinkberry, says the six-year-old frozen yogurt chain could be growing faster than it already is, but that the bar is set high for potential partners. “We have thousands of inquiries from people who want to be franchisees, but we have a very distinct screening process we go...
Franchisees should take advantage of their franchisor's resources.
Franchising
After 17 years on the corporate side of quick service, Rob Parsons stepped out of the suit, threw on a purple polo, and opened his first Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen unit in 2009. Having previously worked for the real-estate division of Popeyes and at Denny’s corporate, Parsons helped his first store...
Brand extensions like McDonald's McCafe can build sales in a big way.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
What do Bic underwear, Harley-Davidson wine coolers, and Jamba Juice soup have in common? They’re all ways companies have tried to extend their brands—and they all failed. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the rough and manly image of the Harley brand wouldn’t fit with the light and girly...
Quick serves can save money by scheduling employees more efficiently.
Human Resources
With expenses from commodities to health care continuing to put increasing pressure on margins, many operators are looking closer than ever at their labor costs and how to cut them. While the default action for most operators is to cut employees or their hours, workforce-management experts say the...
Quick service brands can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
Quick service operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...
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 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...
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 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...