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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...