Growth
After college graduation and an eight-month stint supervising the post–Hurricane Katrina cleanup, Justin Harris wasted little time in taking on the quick-service industry. Harris, like so many others in the field, signed on with Dickey’s Barbecue Pit without any prior ownership or operations...
Healthy Denver based fast casual offers fresh instead of processed ingredients.
Emerging Concepts
When Patrick Fox opened Cava Greens in 2002, he fashioned it to be the anti–quick serve. The food court–based eatery inside Denver’s 56-story Republic Plaza dishes up custom, hand-tossed salads alongside a range of fresh and natural offerings. The store resists processed foods in favor of dozens of...
Quick service brands like Tropical Smoothie Cafe move to college real estate.
Growth
Millennials. Ever heard of ’em? Of course you have. Millennials are all anyone in foodservice can talk about right now, the crème de la crème of today’s coveted customer demographics. Depending on whom you ask, they might be 20 years old or they might be 35 years old; studies vary on what, exactly...
Some quick service chief executives also double as brand franchisees.
Executive Insights
Quick-serve leaders have a lot of their plate, whether it’s finding ways to boost the brand’s growth or looking out for all of the people and operators in their care. Still, for some CEOs, running the company isn’t the only thing they’re concerned about; they’re also focused on making their own...
Food trucks present a threat to traditional quick service restaurants.
Competition
Competition is fierce in the restaurant industry, and quick serves are facing yet another threat in the fight for share of stomach. A recent study from the NPD Group, a global information company, revealed that when consumers opt for a food-truck visit, it often replaces a visit that otherwise...
Industry News
Somewhere between the Wild West of quick serves and fast casuals and the frontier of full-service dining lies a middle ground occupied by family-style hybrids. Two such concepts, longtime American staples Bonanza and Ponderosa, are stampeding ahead of the rest by revitalizing their brands to remain...
Fast food brands are using marketing, staffing, and menu items to boost traffic.
Industry News
It comes as no surprise that the holiday season rakes in big bucks for retailers. They hauled in nearly $580 billion in 2012 alone, according to the National Retail Federation. But shopping centers and big-box retailers won’t be the only businesses to cash in this holiday season, as quick serves...
Quick service brands like Fatburger offer delivery to expand sales opportunities
Ordering
Though pizza may still be the food of choice for customers wanting something delivered to their door, brands from all categories within the limited-service industry are trying their hand at delivery. Even one of the biggest concepts in quick service, Burger King, has jumped on the delivery...
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 restaurants add breakfast menus to draw new customers.
Breaking Out of the Mold
Restaurant brands are turning to daypart expansion as they seek new growth channels, with many operators zeroing in on breakfast, the fastest growing daypart, according to The NPD Group. But with all of the opportunities a new daypart offers, it also brings with it operational challenges like added...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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-...