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...
Roast beef sandwich chain Arbys is up for sale.
Industry News
Just two years after getting hitched, Wendy’s and Arby’s may be breaking up. But few analysts are surprised. Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc., the Atlanta-based company that owns the two quick-service restaurant brands, said last week that it is seeking “strategic alternatives” for Arby’s, including a...
Read Full Story // read more about: Finance, Wendy's, Arby's, Growth
Disagreement among executives can be good for a business.
Executive Insights
Jim Amos Jr., CEO of frozen dessert concept Tasti D-Lite, does exactly one thing to discourage conflict among members of his c-suite: nothing. “There is no progress without disagreement,” Amos says. “As long as there’s no extreme fear of failure, people will dig in and state their opinions. Then...
Read Full Story // read more about: Tasti D-Lite
Cold Stone is adding frozen yogurt to its offerings in 2011.
Industry News
Cold Stone Creamery president Dan Beem will tell you that 2010 treated the company pretty well. “We had our best October in about four years,” he says. “If you look at our year overall, we’re trending much better than the industry.” In an attempt to replicate that success in the coming months, Cold...
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 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...
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 restaurants can learn potato tips from Trine University chef.
Chef Q&A: Todd Downs
Many people think of baked potatoes and french fries when it comes to potato dishes in restaurants. What are some new ways potatoes are finding their way to menus? I think smashing or ripping and then flash frying is a hot trend right now. Poutine is still pretty hot out there, and I’ve had really...
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...
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...