Celebrity chef Rick Bayless expands his influence with fast casual restaurants.
Menu Innovations
Today’s so-called “celebrity chef” usually comes with a handful of calling-card resume builders: TV appearances, cookbooks, award nominations, a portfolio of esteemed restaurants. And Chef Rick Bayless, as celebrity a chef as they come, is no different. The James Beard–winning chef and author of...
Roark Capital built successful quick service brands through private equity fund.
Growth
The boardroom at Roark Capital Group’s offices in an Atlanta skyscraper has all the accoutrements of a nicely appointed meeting area, including a large conference table surrounded by comfortable chairs and a wide view of the city below. There’s just one distinction: Two dozen black-framed notices...
Fast food operators use Google Glass product to train kitchen employees.
Industry News
While the majority of the restaurant industry is still trying to figure out how to leverage Google Glass to enhance operations, at least two limited-service operators have successfully used the new technology for training employees. KFC, part of Yum! Brands, and Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, a 104-...
A marketing campaign from quick serve Sonic donated funds to class projects.
Charitable Giving
Changes are afoot in Melissa Hunt’s first-grade classroom at I.T. Stoddard Elementary School in Blackfoot, Idaho. This year, Hunt’s classroom welcomed the addition of two iPad minis and a storage cart holding books and headphones. Hunt also launched the Lunch Bunch Book Club, a monthly reading...
A quick serve franchisee joined with friends in launching restaurant business.
Franchising
John Nickleby, like so many other franchisees, broke free of a long-term corporate career when he opened a Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 2007 at age 56. With previous experience at American Security and Northwest Airlines, Nickleby was able to funnel his past ventures into his new...
McDonald's took new approach to fast food marketing with free giveaway.
Promotions
Commuters in the Boston area were treated to a friendly surprise earlier this year when McDonald’s workers stationed in a Boston subway station handed out free cups of coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwiches. The giveaway, which was filmed, was part of a new localized campaign by McDonald’s franchisees...
Quick service brands open new upscale concepts to compete with fast casual.
Industry News
Fast casual has dominated foodservice success stories in recent years, with the category sporting an 11 percent sales hike in 2013, according to Technomic. That success has inspired several traditional quick-service brands to jump on the fast-casual bandwagon with wholly new sister brands, the...
Pork's versatility, cost effectiveness propel its addition to menus.
Menu Innovations
Pork was promoted for years as “the other white meat” to boost its exposure and dispel consumer perception that it’s too fatty. These days, pork is anything but “other” at many limited-service restaurants, though it’s often under the guise of specific ingredients: Menus mention items like sausage...
Quick service brands make impact on restaurant industry with big news events.
2014’s Top 9 Stories
It’s fair to say that 2014 has been as eventful a year for quick-service restaurants as the industry has seen in quite a while. Changing demographics and sharper competition have sparked a variety of innovations, but also exposed some weaknesses. And the unrelenting march of technology is changing...
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 operators offer alcoholic beverages to eliminate customer veto vote.
No Hangover in Sight
When news that more quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants were experimenting with alcohol beverage service emerged in the last decade, many operators and experts followed it with a skepticism chaser. Analysts warned that costly liquor licensing, regulatory details, and staffing issues were just a...
The top quick service restaurant brands from year 2014 served new menu items, technology, innovation.
2014’s Top Brand Stories
It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of...
Ideas and insights from 17 years of top quick service industry publication QSR magazine.
200 Ideas for 200 Issues
The quick-service restaurant industry is always changing, and for 17 years and 200 issues, QSR has been there to write it into the history books. As the leading source of news and information for the industry, we’ve watched trends come and go, brands rise to prominence while others fade away, and...
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 restaurant brands ready health care plans ahead of January deadline.
Are You Prepared?
Come next month, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health-care reporting provision for businesses with 50 or more full-time employees kicks in. Experts say operators must be certain if they fit into the category of Applicable Large Employer (ALE) or Small Business. “The law combines companies with a...