Limited service restaurant chain Luke's Lobster serves premium food at high price point.
Industry News
For many brands, the startup years are full of operational struggles, sourcing issues, and slow, if any, growth. But that hasn’t been the case for New York–based Luke’s Lobster, a concept that’s cornered its own niche within the fast-casual industry in five short years. In the last half decade,...
Quick service pricing structures soften blow of sticker shock.
Competition
Prices for commodities such as beef, pork, poultry, and coffee are on the rise, and more operators expect to pass the cost to customers, industry reports suggest. And while getting guests to accept a price hike can be challenging, experts say it’s possible with menu and marketing tweaks....
Fast food brands swap bread for innovative sandwich holders.
Menu Innovations
The quick-service industry isn’t quite what it used to be. Gone are the days when a simple roll or slices of white bread sufficed as carriers for a burger or sandwich. These days, with innovation required in an increasingly competitive field, sandwich carriers ranging from doughnuts and lettuce to...
Quick service restaurant concept sells made to order nutritional dishes.
Emerging Concepts
Until Tossed’s creators brought chef-inspired salads to New York City in 1998, a fast-casual salad meant iceberg lettuce and a few hard tomato slices prepackaged in a clear plastic box and refrigerated. But at Tossed, salads are made fresh to order, and guests can design their own from a...
Outside Insights
Social media restaurant communities are littered with conversations revolving around one of the most costly and frustrating elements of the business: employee turnover. Every LinkedIn group, Google+ community, and Facebook page dedicated to the industry sees its share of questions and answers as to...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Industry News
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...
Quick service restaurant brands snap cool photos of food options to promote to customers.
Promotions
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers, which is why quick-serve restaurants spend a great deal of time, money, and effort to ensure their menuboards and promotional materials have images that resonate with their customers....
Outside Insights
First, Taco Bell turned the burrito on its side with the launch of a new breakfast menu, and now, traditional morning daypart chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are looking to extend their bite to the much-larger lunch slice. Although Dunkin’ has been after the coffee-drinking market that makes up...
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...
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 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 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 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 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...