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...
Quick serve chicken chain rolls out coffee that benefits bean growers.
Morning Jolt
Chick-fil-A joined the breakfast innovation bandwagon with a renewed commitment to offering better coffee. And the chicken chain took the initiative one step further by partnering with a network of specialty coffee farmers in Central America known as THRIVE. The handpicked, proprietary coffee blend...
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...
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...
Health and Nutrition: The State of the Industry
It’s an oft-cited statistic: One in four Americans eats at a fast-food establishment each day—that’s nearly 79 million consumers, considering the latest national population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. And depending on one’s definition of “fast food,” that number could edge higher for the...
Quick service operators can make money through market based pricing strategies.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 3
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one, and here to read part two. Hello again QSR readers! Before we dig into another alternative pricing strategy, we want to take a moment to look back at where...
Quick service operators can make money through market based pricing strategies.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 3
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one, and here to read part two. Hello again QSR readers! Before we dig into another alternative pricing strategy, we want to take a moment to look back at where...
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,...