Bill Dunn of quick service restaurant Auntie Annes worked for Wendys as first job.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I guess I was 14 when I first got into the restaurant business. My father owned nine Wendy’s down in north-central Florida, and when I would go visit him in the summer, I would work in the restaurants. I still have my first paycheck framed in my office. I think it was for $84. I didn’t stay in...
Fast food restaurants leverage online and social media SEO tools to boost business.
Outside Insights
Restaurants looking to increase their customer base and drive sales through digital marketing should focus on local search engine optimization (SEO) because of its proven ability to drive in-store sales. Local SEO improves a restaurant’s rankings in local search results and puts businesses in front...
Quick service restaurants lower sodium levels to offer healthy menu options.
Industry News
As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalizes guidelines for the restaurant industry to voluntarily reduce sodium levels on menus, some limited-service restaurants are already using a “stealth health” approach to sodium removal, choosing to keep the effort mostly under wraps. Boston Market is...
Quick service restaurants use convenient packaging to leverage site location.
In the Store
Grab-and-go items, once a staple of nontraditional spaces like college campuses and airports, have gone mainstream. Today, operations ranging from convenience stores to standalone quick-service restaurants are adding prepackaged items like fresh carrots with ranch dip, pre-made chicken wraps, or...
Technology
Panera Bread took a step into the future with the rollout of $42 million worth of ordering technology, dubbed “Panera 2.0.” The chain expects to better its customer experience inside and out with iPad ordering kiosks, mobile and online ordering interfaces, and a feature that lets guests order at...
Outside Insights
There’s no question that having a great online reputation gives you the stamp of approval you need, especially when 95 percent of consumers are turning to the Internet to find local businesses. With 132 million average monthly unique visitors turning to Yelp to make a buying decision and 57 million...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Emerging Concepts
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Quick service brands leverage franchise system for strategic growth.
Franchising
For upstart quick-service restaurants considering the move to franchising, the path can precipitate a major shift in business model and operations. Beyond the economic investment in franchising, experts say, operators must ensure their brand will consistently deliver quality across all locations. “...
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 brands can use big data to plan strategic growth.
Data: The Most Important Ingredient
Selling food for profit dates back to the evolution of human society itself: from outside eateries in ancient Rome and China to the evolution of fine dining in France to the mushrooming of the fast-food industry, drive thru, and takeaway inns in the last decade. Restaurants have changed along with...
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 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...
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...
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...