Competition
Thanks to British ex-pat Nathan Coe and his Nantucket Pasty Co., the pasty is becoming a household term—and an oft-enjoyed culinary item—in the seaside community of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Leveraging the talents of Culinary Institute of America–trained pastry chef Josh Smerdon, the two-year-old...
Quick service restaurant Bojangles serves indulgent Southern food like chicken biscuits.
QSR 50
Charlotte, North Carolina–based Bojangles’ may fall into the chicken quick-service category, but as any executive, operator, employee, or loyal fan will tell you, it’s all about the biscuit. And for good reason: The item is included or featured in nearly 80 of the brand’s menu items, a fact that...
Use word-of-mouth marketing to score cheap but effective brand exposure.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: Everyone says word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of marketing, but how do you actually create it? A: Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has always been very powerful, but today’s technology and culture make it a particularly ripe time to harvest its power. The primary way to get the most out of...
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Breakfast quick service restaurants add new food options for later snacking.
Industry News
Earlier this year, research firm The NPD Group confirmed what many in the quick-service industry have known for years: The breakfast wars are real, and there’s more at stake then a Waffle Taco or a better cup of coffee. NPD’s “A Look into the Future of Foodservice” report found that the quick-...
Quick service bread choices expand with popular consumer trends.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s hard for aficionados in any field to avoid the desert-island question. For music mavens, it boils down to, “Which album would you take with you, if you could only take one?” Movie lovers have to decide which film they’d want to watch, possibly in perpetuity—a question that bears careful...
Fast food brands like Auntie Annes redesign store interior to draw new consumers.
In the Store
Restaurant redesigns and renovations are a big undertaking for quick-serve brands and often involve a certain level of risk. But renovations are also increasingly appealing for operators looking to improve their store design and environment and the financial benefits that might come with it....
Fast food brands focus on transparent advertising campaigns to attract customers.
Promotions
Quick-serve restaurants continue to aggressively promote high-quality ingredients in their ad campaigns. This past spring, national sandwich chain Arby’s broadcast a wordless 13-hour commercial in Duluth, Minnesota—as well as online—displaying its brisket cooking process to demonstrate the brand’s...
Fast food leader Wendys is changing brand to compete with fast casuals.
QSR 50
On November 15, 1969, Dave Thomas put 20-plus years of restaurant experience into the opening of his very own fast-food joint, Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. That first restaurant, located in Columbus, Ohio, set a precedent for quick-service burger chains by capitalizing on a promise to...
Quick service restaurants relaunch to build franchising program.
Franchise Fixes
Companies have good reasons for acquiring franchise brands. Often they see potential in a brand and hope to use their own resources to build it into a national contender. Many brands, though, need a healthy dose of TLC after acquisition. And some companies have found that a good rebranding can...
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...
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...