Outside Insights
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...
Quick service brand Wendys promotes adoption and foster care cause.
Charitable Giving
Back in 1992, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA), a nonprofit embracing a laser-like commitment to driving adoption awareness and increasing the adoption of children from America’s foster care system. This past March, Wendy’s placed adoption and its...
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Quick service restaurants use planned design qualities to attract customers.
In the Store
Upholstered booths, a brighter color palette, a clean layout, carefully curated radio stations. These may all be components of an average restaurant redesign, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. In fact, design changes like these are often made with strategic and subtle purposes in mind....
Fast food Asian chain serves sushi, salad, and bowls inspired by Far East.
Emerging Concepts
While fast-casual giant Chipotle has grown to more than 1,000 locations in the past two decades, another fast-casual chain that also started in Denver around the same time has seen quieter growth. Like Chipotle, the 29-unit Tokyo Joe’s serves natural meats and mostly organic veggies, focusing on...
Fast food kitchens must protect restaurants against food borne illness.
Outside Insights
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...
Fast food restaurants can maximize delivery service to hook customers.
Outside Insights
Picture this: You’re trying to decide where to go for dinner. You’re stuck between two new restaurants. One has a line out the door; the other looks deserted. Which do you choose? Chances are, unless you’re in a rush, you pick the one with the line out the door. If that many people like it, it must...
Fast food restaurants serve ethnic food options to curious customers.
Industry News
After visiting numerous Peruvian rotisserie chicken places with his wife, a Peru native, Randy Garcia had an idea: He wanted to combine the feel of the restaurants he’d seen throughout Peru with a modern, fast-casual format. That idea came to fruition when he opened Viva Chicken in Charlotte, North...
Fast food restaurants add smoke and heat to grilled menu options.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
If you want to get a group of barbecue fanatics all fired up, just try using the words grilling and barbecuing interchangeably. Barbecuing is a slow-cooking technique; smoking a pork shoulder for hours over wood chips would qualify. Grilling, on the other hand—as any purist will tell you—is the act...
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 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...
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...
Quick service brands add sustainable seafood items to fight ocean climate change.
Sea Change
Though U.S. consumption is well below other proteins today, seafood will likely be an increasingly important part of the American diet in the years to come. The country’s population is predicted to grow by 89 million between 2010 and 2050 to 401 million people. More people require more food—and...
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...