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...
WiFi enabled devices can be a security threat to fast food wireless networks.
Outside Insights
According to recent analysis by AirTight Networks, there is a very high incidence of wireless vulnerabilities among organizations that are subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), highlighting the need for wireless scanning as outlined in the PCI DSS Wireless Guideline...
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Tasti D-Lite's treats have been popular with celebrities like Taylor Swift.
Emerging Concepts
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Since the late ’80s, New York City has had a secret: a sweet, creamy, frozen dairy dessert that won’t mess up a model’s diet, or anyone else’s for that matter. The secret has gotten out, however, as Tasti D-Lite stores have opened in places as close to the Big Apple as New Jersey and Connecticut,...
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 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...
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...
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 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 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...