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,...
Fried chicken still dominates the menu at Golden Chick.
Emerging Concepts
Golden Chick, with stores in Texas and Oklahoma, maintains a philosophy of controlled, concentric, regional growth—except for one very big exception. “We should see our first unit in China open some time next year,” says Golden Chick president Mark Parmerlee. Golden Chick minority partner Allen...
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Breakfast items at fast casuals can grow business effectively.
George Green: Fast-Casual Expert
Seven years ago, at the height of the Atkins craze, our sales were down especially at breakfast. Our amazing artisan breakfast pastries and breads stayed on the shelves. And our customers stayed at home instead of just coming in to get the specialty coffee drink that had accompanied their...
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...
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 restaurants relaunch to build franchising program.
Franchise Fixes
Companies have good reasons for acquiring franchise brands. Often they see potential in a brand and hope to use their own resources to build it into a national contender. Many brands, though, need a healthy dose of TLC after acquisition. And some companies have found that a good rebranding can...
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 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...