Promotions
In 2007, Togo’s, a 242-unit, 40-year-old West Coast sandwich chain, was purchased by San Francisco equity firm Mainsail Partners, which quickly saw a problem. “Throughout the system there were six logos on the exterior signage,” says Renae Scott, vice president of branding and marketing for Togo’s...
Denise Lee Yohn sets certain standards brands must meet for social media.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
As a child I was a geek who desperately wanted to be popular. In my quest to be cool, I wanted to copy the popular kids’ rebellious behaviors like dying my hair and going coatless in the dead of winter. When I expressed these aspirations to my mother, she admonished me by saying, “Just because...
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Businesses can thrive by planning strategically for the future.
Growth
After running nuclear reactors for submarines, Loren Goodridge was ready to be his own boss. Navy alum Goodridge became a Subway franchisee in 1992, and has since been recognized for his strategic planning skills by Subway CEO Fred DeLuca and grown his franchise company to 20 units. Armed with...
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Energy Kitchen offers healthy dishes like bison and ostrich burgers.
Emerging Concepts
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To encourage return visits, a fast-casual restaurant that serves only healthy food must make taste paramount, says Anthony Leone, founder of Energy Kitchen. That’s why at Energy Kitchen, the menu includes nontraditional ingredients like bison and ostrich. “We work very hard on recipes,” Leone says...
Executives must identify and work on strengthening their weaknesses.
Human Resources
Chris Newcomb, cofounder, president, and CEO of Newk’s Express Café, would have called himself an understanding manager. His two co-owners, however, would have described it differently—something along the lines of too forgiving. “They came to me and said, ‘You sure do give people a lot of chances...
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Fine dining foods are finding their way to quick-service menus.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
In 2015, the single most popular dish on quick-serve restaurant menus will be a sumptuous curried goat sandwich served with fried lentils and a crispy tamarind-orange flatbread. Shortly thereafter, thick, frosty duck confit milkshakes and turnip tots will take the fast food world by storm. Then, by...
Americans deserve engagement instead of advertisement overload.
Outside Insights
How many advertising messages is the average American exposed to every day? When you consider almost every surface we see during the course of our day is invariably plastered with advertising, the numbers are high. From newspapers, magazines, billboards, and product logos, the acceleration of...
Fast food mascots might not be marketing success they used to be.
Industry News
More than a decade into the 21st century, it is safe to say we are living in a brave new world. Television, perhaps the pièce de résistance of last century, has given way to computers and, in turn, desktop computers and laptops may soon give way to tablets and smartphones. This rush of...
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...
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...
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...
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 brands create executive succession strategies to ease transition.
Navigating Corporate Succession
The chief executive officer is often the face of a brand. And when the time comes for a new leader to assume the role, experts say, an efficient succession plan can help establish a smooth transition and reassure employees that all is well with the brand. In its first-ever succession, Elevation...
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...