George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
While I have covered many aspects of operations and the fast-casual segment in past columns, the election season has prompted me to think about the big picture and our industry’s place in society. The other day a friend of mine tried to convince me to get out of my dead-end career field so that I...
Kevin West, Tim Hortons' director of coffee operations
Executive Insights
Kevin West will tell you he’s been working in the coffee industry since he was 10 years old, when he would spend free time at a coffee roasting plant with his father, watching, learning, and tasting. Now, as director of coffee operations for Tim Hortons, West tastes more than 300 cups a day to...
Franchisors must provide strong local store marketing tools to ensure franchisee
Promotions
One of the greatest franchisee frustrations centers on local marketing and the struggle to obtain marketing materials targeted to their particular location and demographics. Too often, operators are provided with little or no local marketing support—when they are, the options they receive are...
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You’re fast, you’re accurate, but today’s consumers want more from your drive-th
Industry News
Ralph Bower and his colleagues at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw room for improvement. For years, the Atlanta-based brand’s drive-thru experience suffered in industry studies, while the company’s own internal and external measures found drive-thru customers wanting. In search of better results,...
Some casual-dining chains are offering quick-serve prototypes in an attempt capt
Emerging Concepts
As the old saw goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and to put it mildly, the Great Recession bred a lot of necessity. For the quick-service sector, the deprivation cut several ways. There was the “trading down” phenomenon, where some cash-strapped consumers chose fast-casual...
Affluent customers have contributed to the success of chains like Panera Bread.
Industry News
According to a recent study by American Express Business Insights, ultra-affluent consumers increased quick-serve spending by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2010, as compared to the same quarter last year. Ultra-affluent customers are defined as those who charge more than $7,000 per month on...
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Chipotle CEO Steve Ells dress as processed foods
Industry News
With Halloween approaching, it is hard to say who is more excited: kids eager to go trick-or-treating or businesses looking to explore frighteningly creative marketing strategies. In the restaurant industry, which has a natural tie-in to the food-centric, sugar-fueled occasion, many companies are...
Sharon Olson's month-long diet of only fast food turned up some interesting insi
Industry News
*/ Five years ago, Supersize Me was becoming a mini cult classic based on what I thought was a ridiculous premise. Why would someone change their lifestyle to eliminate exercise, eat at only one restaurant, unequivocally take instructions from an order taker, and intentionally damage their health...
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...
Quick service concepts with breakfast focus offer more menu items for lunch day part.
Taking a Bite Out of Lunch
As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand. Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts,...
Fast food beverage brand Smoothie King run by executive passionate for health.
Start to Finish: Wan Kim
When I started to look at this business, what I truly found beautiful was being able to bring my family every day. I am able to feed my children the very same products I strive to sell to the world. I love the foodservice business for that reason, but specifically Smoothie King for allowing me to...
McDonalds is one major fast food chain to incorporate Apple's new mobile tool.
Apple’s Game Changer
Although the concept of consumers using their smartphones to pay for food at limited-service restaurants is nothing new, the mobile payment industry is expected to get a huge boost with last month’s launch of Apple Pay. The payment service is available with Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus....
Quick service companies encourage workers to give back to community.
Team Players
Quick-service executives have the capacity to do a lot of good outside just filling customer bellies with tasty food. Many choose to rally their loyal consumers behind a cause, creating fundraising opportunities and spreading awareness. Others go the extra mile to rally their own corporate team and...
The Lighter Side
Offering healthier dining options is essential in today’s competitive marketplace, even for a brand built on indulgence. Sometimes, though, it takes clever marketing to draw consumers’ attention to these better-for-you items. CKE sister brands Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. did just that with the June...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...