Fast food restaurant owners adapt business by asking right questions.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
This month I’m answering three questions that were submitted through our online question form. While the questions cover a range of issues in the industry, the common theme is to ensure you’re asking the right question in the first place. I have recently opened my quick serve, and for the first two...
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Food & Beverage
For many Americans, there’s nothing like drinking a tall, cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. Whether plain, sweetened, infused with fruit flavors, or part of a specialty beverage, iced tea is increasingly popular nationwide. Limited-service restaurants have seen solid growth with iced...
Bill Dunn of quick service restaurant Auntie Annes worked for Wendys as first job.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I guess I was 14 when I first got into the restaurant business. My father owned nine Wendy’s down in north-central Florida, and when I would go visit him in the summer, I would work in the restaurants. I still have my first paycheck framed in my office. I think it was for $84. I didn’t stay in...
Fast food restaurants leverage online and social media SEO tools to boost business.
Outside Insights
Restaurants looking to increase their customer base and drive sales through digital marketing should focus on local search engine optimization (SEO) because of its proven ability to drive in-store sales. Local SEO improves a restaurant’s rankings in local search results and puts businesses in front...
Quick service restaurants lower sodium levels to offer healthy menu options.
Industry News
As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalizes guidelines for the restaurant industry to voluntarily reduce sodium levels on menus, some limited-service restaurants are already using a “stealth health” approach to sodium removal, choosing to keep the effort mostly under wraps. Boston Market is...
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...
Quick service brands can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
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...
Quick service and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
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 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...