Outside Insights
It’s the age-old question, resurfaced: Why fix what ain’t broke? Restaurateurs are often faced with the dilemma of handling change in their chains. As a hospitality-focused design firm, starrdesign has worked with a wide range of quick service restaurants over the years, gaining insight into their...
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Charity cause Dine Out for No Kid Hungry raises money to fight childhood hunger.
Industry News
One in five children go hungry in the U.S. each day. It was that stat, as well as a childhood spent among those below the poverty line, that convinced Monte Jump, Back Yard Burger’s chief operations and marketing officer, to get his brand involved in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry platform for...
Industry News
As Dunkin’ Donuts continues its national, westward expansion, the brand is unveiling a new Rainforest Alliance Certified Dark Roast Coffee. The new Dark Roast, developed by Dunkin’ Donuts’ Coffee Excellence team over the past several years, uses a unique roasting process to bring out key...
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...
Quick service brands can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
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 franchise owner used work ethic to climb from store manager.
The Franchisee Fast Track
Having started as a sandwich maker with Subway when he was 18 years old, Gurpreet Singh has spent nearly half his life in the quick-service industry. Now a Checkers franchisee, Singh has spent time in every quick-serve job imaginable: line worker, manager, general manager, and, today, franchisee....
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...
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...