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...
Read Full Story // read more about: Popeyes, Newk's Eatery
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...
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...
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...
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...
Fast food restaurant companies innovate supply around farm drought conditions.
At Mother Nature’s Mercy
Kevin Kester’s family has been farming in the U.S. for generations. And it’s not just a couple of generations they’ve been farming; more like generations upon generations, way back to the 1600s, specifically in California since the 1860s. Today, Kester owns a 22,000-acre beef cattle ranch in...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...