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...
Chicken on a stick can expand a concept’s menu offerings.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s been breaded, fried, broken into its constituent parts and pieces, and served in a bucket. It’s been basted, grilled, broken into chunks, and layered over greens and vegetables. It’s been dressed, pressed, formed into patties, slapped on a bun, and served as a sandwich. And it’s been roasted,...
New survey shows consumers gravitate toward combo meals when offered.
Industry News
Combo and value meal deals are part of the DNA of fast food restaurants, but two researchers find that changes to the meals could help quick serves steer customers toward healthier offerings. Kathryn Sharpe of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Professor Richard Staelin of...
Industry News
  Starbucks’ ambitious goal to have 100 percent of its cups be reusable or recyclable by 2015 may have just gotten much easier. The company announced a successful test with paper cup manufacturer International Paper and pulp mill Mississippi River Pulp that used recycled cups from stores to create...
Breakfast proteins like chicken and turkey are showing up on quick serve menus.
Menu Innovations
There is an answer to the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. It’s definitely the egg—at least when it comes to breakfast. Few morning menus are without them. But these days, chicken and another popular poultry protein, turkey, are increasingly popping up on a.m....
New White Castle concepts offer options beyond its famous sliders.
Industry News
White Castle is testing a trio of fast-casual restaurant concepts that could help the nation’s oldest quick-service burger chain decide whether to branch off in new directions. The Columbus, Ohio–based icon, known for its little hamburgers affectionately dubbed sliders, housed the three new...
Seventy-three stories shaped the restaurant industry in 2010.
Competition
Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson 1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors,...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...