McDonald's is the largest fast food company but is struggling to grow in 2013.
Competition
The last decade in quick service was a transformative one. Fast-casual restaurants moved from novel ideas in urban markets to competitive powerhouses with seemingly no ceiling. Health and nutrition became critical filters through which brands vetted their new menu items. And the Great Recession...
Reputation management tools like Yelp help brands manage their online presence.
Outside Insights
Attempting to manage what’s being said about your restaurant in this ever-growing world of online review sites might seem like a job better suited for your clone. But alas, technology hasn’t caught up to make such dreams come true. If you’re working several hours running your restaurant by day and...
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Industry News
Value is in the eye of the beholder, and recent research suggests consumers find the most value in the pizza segment of the quick-service industry. “Value is an important driver in decisions,” says Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, a daily brand consumer perception research service. “We...
Mexican fast casual Chipotle is launching a catering service to grow business.
Industry News
Chipotle is tapping into new consumer occasions with the recent national rollout of its catering program. The added operation allows the brand to compete in a different space with fast-casual concepts like Panera and Qdoba Mexican Grill that have established catering options. Chipotle tested...
Fast food restaurants leveraged food and marketing initiatives to grow in 2013.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My year-end top brand stories recap was well received last year, and I decided to do it again. I’ll break from my usual Q&A format to recap this year’s most important brand developments in fast food. Taco Bell. Taco Bell continued to ride the wave it created last year with Doritos Locos Tacos...
Fast casual Toast Cafe focuses on brunch daypart to build business.
Fast Casual
When co-owners Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill launched Toast Café in 2005, they set out to create a concept that offers a better breakfast dining experience. In only a few short years, Toast Café grew to three locations in North Carolina, and the owners are now ready to ramp up growth with plans...
Fast food companies like Red Mango work to constantly update their online sites.
Promotions
Dan Kim, founder and chief concept officer of frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, spearheaded a relaunch of his company’s website two years ago. The site was refreshingly simple and easy to use. Even still, Red Mango is in the midst of another website overhaul. “We’re going to simplify a lot of things...
Top women executives like Cheryl Bachelder are changing fast food for the better
Women in Foodservice
The women of foodservice are a savvy, confident, and—perhaps most importantly—growing group. They’ve fought their way to the top, led entire brands at young ages, chaired restaurant associations and organizations, and in some cases been the first female executive at their organization. Though the...
Quick service concepts like Rise in North Carolina are accepting bitcoin money.
Are Bitcoins Legit?
Despite controversies surrounding the virtual currency bitcoin, a growing number of quick-serve restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and bars are allowing their customers to pay for their food and beverages via the digital currency. Bitcoins are a currency that is transferred directly between buyer...
Auntie Anne’s invests in tomorrow’s talent.
Promise for the Future
Forget the age-old stereotype of teens being more interested in schlep than success. Auntie Anne’s corporate executives and franchise partners have seen first-hand that there is promising business potential in today’s high-school students. Fifty teens at the brand’s Leaders & Entrepreneurs...
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...
Quick service brands leverage franchise system for strategic growth.
The Franchise Formula
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. “...
Modern restaurants capitalize on traditional approaches.
Old School Meets New
Call it a reflection of consumers’ growing desire for local fare or their increasing demand for cleaner food with minimal processing and fewer ingredients. But one thing is for sure in foodservice today: What’s old is most decidedly new again. Both brands and customers are returning to an old-...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
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...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
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 brand serves all vegan food to health conscious customers.
Ones To Watch: Native Foods Café
The owners of the vegan fast-casual concept Native Foods Café decided if they could make it in Chicago—home of cheesy deep-dish pizza and Vienna beef hot dogs—they could make it anywhere. Founded in Palm Springs, California, by a vegan chef in 1994, Native Foods Café grew into a four-store chain...