Ron Shaich is the founder of Panera Bread.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
Last October, I attended an industry conference and saw Panera’s founder Ron Shaich moderate a panel of great industry leaders. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know I also had the chance to ask Ron a question about the development and future of the fast-casual industry. Ron answered by noting...
Public relations strategies go beyond press releases to the media.
Outside Insights
Sending press releases out to the media promoting your restaurant is smart; however, if you don’t have a crafted public relations plan, then you’re wasting your time. Any successful marketing plan must be reinforced with a well-researched public relations plan. There are plenty of ways to create a...
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The Ronald McDonald House is one of the most successful cause programs ever.
Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s
As far back as I can remember in my McDonald’s career, Ray Kroc preached the importance of giving back to the community. He always said that if we were going to take money from the residents, we should be giving back value to the place where they lived and worked. He called it being “Mr. McDonald’s...
Coupons may one day be available on interactive TVs.
Promotions
Interactive television, or iTV, might not be the next big thing in restaurant advertising. But with TV technology continuing to evolve and incorporate greater interactivity, it might be the next big thing after the next big thing—especially considering that the technology seems uniquely suited to...
Domino's used its head chef in advertisements promoting its new pizza recipe.
Promotions
Marketing executives have known for years that using hard-at-work, nice-looking, real employees in a TV spot can symbolize a brand’s corporate commitment to quality and service. But any marketer getting ready to take this idea to his ad people should first take some time to consider that using real...
Popeyes is one brand that spent time and money changing its brand name.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” With all due respect, I must disagree with Shakespeare on his famous quote from the play Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps names don’t matter when you’re in love, but they matter a lot in the restaurant business. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the...
Choosing a business to franchise takes strategy and careful consideration.
Franchising
After an abundance of successful business ventures, David Lobel founded Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building middle-market companies in the U.S. and Canada. Along with other prosperous investments, Lobel and senior partner and cofounder John...
Magic Wok has many types of noodles available on its menu.
Emerging Concepts
To most of its customers, Magic Wok is a destination for a quick, tasty, healthy Asian meal. For founder Tommy Pipatjarasgit, Magic Wok represents the realization of his father’s American dream. “My father came from Thailand in 1968 with just a couple hundred dollars in his pocket,” Pipatjarasgit...
Read Full Story // read more about: Franchising, Growth
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...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
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 operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...
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...
Quick service and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...