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. “...
Quick service restaurants build out historic sites for charming sense of place.
Industry News
Built in 1881, the log cabin housing the Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que location in Breckenridge, Colorado, has seen its fair share of action. “As I understand it, it was the assayer’s cabin for the town,” says John Rediker, a partner at the Breckenridge unit. Precious metals extracted from the mines...
Fast food coffee giant Starbucks gives team members stock in company.
Human Resources
Saving for retirement and other financial milestones is an important objective for most people, including employees in the quick-serve industry. The biggest coffee chain in the U.S. is making it easier for its workers to reach those monetary goals. In 1991, after Seattle-based Starbucks extended...
Mama Fus is one quick service brand that leverages loyalty program data.
Promotions
Consumers increasingly look to cash in on loyalty programs, and a new report from business strategy adviser Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that savvy quick serves can capitalize on a data-collection strategy to ensure loyalty success. “If you are a quick serve and don’t have [a loyalty program...
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...
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...
Fast food restaurant companies innovate supply around farm drought conditions.
At Mother Nature’s Mercy
Kevin Kester’s family has been farming in the U.S. for generations. And it’s not just a couple of generations they’ve been farming; more like generations upon generations, way back to the 1600s, specifically in California since the 1860s. Today, Kester owns a 22,000-acre beef cattle ranch in...
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...
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 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...