Knowing building and permitting details can help speed up construction time.
Outside Insights
Opening a quick-service restaurant in a challenging economy can feel like venturing into a risky commercial real estate development; there are heavy capital expenditures, significant operating costs, and months without revenue. So, more than ever before, operators are seeking ways to open their...
Read Full Story // read more about: Design
Ken Switzer is Marco’s Pizza’s CFO and developed Marco’s Assurance.
Executive Insights
When banks wanted a third-party guarantee who didn’t have to sell their house to repay franchisee loans, Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco's Pizza, stepped in with an unusual idea. As a result of the frozen credit market, Switzer developed Marco's Assurance, which offers a $50,000 guarantee on franchisees...
Read Full Story // read more about: Finance, Franchising, Growth
Consumers are buying more restaurant gift cards.
Industry News
For most retailers, the days after Christmas are awash with returned gifts. But many quick-service operators are seeing a flood of gift cards. Consumer spending for prepaid cards at limited-service restaurants soared this year, and the growth was even stronger during the holiday season, according...
There is a fine line between terrific and terrible cheap restaurant marketing ef
Promotions
In the teeth of the recession, Back Yard Burgers developed a new, slimmed-down marketing strategy. The roughly 200-unit, Nashville, Tennessee–based chain cut costs across the board, developed a slick-looking website, and created a social media strategy centered on Facebook and Twitter. But Ken King...
Seven trends will effect the way operators do business in 2011.
Industry News
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry...
Wendy's new Dave's Hot 'n Juicy Cheeseburger is being advertised by Wendy hersel
Industry News
Two decades ago, as Wendy’s was mired in a sales slump, the burger chain turned to its founder, Dave Thomas, to serve as its advertising voice. The move proved fortuitous. After a shaky start, Thomas evolved into the folksy, self-effacing face of the company—and a beloved American character. He...
Charlie Morrison went from interim to full-time executive at Pizza Inn.
Executive Insights
In an economic climate full of uncertainty and change, many businesses have turned to interim executives to right the ship. The quick-serve industry is no different. In June, Denny’s Corp. named chairwoman Debra Smithart-Oglesby interim CEO after Nelson Marchioli left the company. In August, El...
Pei Wei's menu is inspired by food from five Asian nations.
Industry News
There’s nothing unusual about a quick-serve concept doing a little bit of R&D homework in the culinary environment that inspired its menu. So when Chef Eric Justice, executive chef of Asian concept Pei Wei, visits Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea next year to do some menu...
Quick service companies saw stocks fall in 2014 but could rebound with Shake Shack IPO.
Stocks Dip in 2014
After outperforming Wall Street the past few years, the stock prices of restaurant companies with quick-service concepts finished a bit worse than the overall market in 2014. Slightly more than half of limited-service dining companies’ stocks were bested by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index last...
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 pizza restaurants roll out mobile apps and ordering tools.
Order’s Up
More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff...
The top quick service restaurant brands from year 2014 served new menu items, technology, innovation.
2014’s Top Brand Stories
It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of...
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 operators can survey equipment options at NAFEM Show.
2015 NAFEM Show Preview
THE Q&A We spoke with officials at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers about what attendees can expect from this year’s event. What is the purpose of the NAFEM Show? The NAFEM Show features foodservice equipment and supplies from 500-plus manufacturers. At the show,...