McDonald's is the largest fast food company but is struggling to grow in 2013.
Competition
The last decade in quick service was a transformative one. Fast-casual restaurants moved from novel ideas in urban markets to competitive powerhouses with seemingly no ceiling. Health and nutrition became critical filters through which brands vetted their new menu items. And the Great Recession...
Reputation management tools like Yelp help brands manage their online presence.
Outside Insights
Attempting to manage what’s being said about your restaurant in this ever-growing world of online review sites might seem like a job better suited for your clone. But alas, technology hasn’t caught up to make such dreams come true. If you’re working several hours running your restaurant by day and...
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Industry News
Value is in the eye of the beholder, and recent research suggests consumers find the most value in the pizza segment of the quick-service industry. “Value is an important driver in decisions,” says Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, a daily brand consumer perception research service. “We...
Mexican fast casual Chipotle is launching a catering service to grow business.
Industry News
Chipotle is tapping into new consumer occasions with the recent national rollout of its catering program. The added operation allows the brand to compete in a different space with fast-casual concepts like Panera and Qdoba Mexican Grill that have established catering options. Chipotle tested...
Fast food restaurants leveraged food and marketing initiatives to grow in 2013.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My year-end top brand stories recap was well received last year, and I decided to do it again. I’ll break from my usual Q&A format to recap this year’s most important brand developments in fast food. Taco Bell. Taco Bell continued to ride the wave it created last year with Doritos Locos Tacos...
Fast casual Toast Cafe focuses on brunch daypart to build business.
Fast Casual
When co-owners Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill launched Toast Café in 2005, they set out to create a concept that offers a better breakfast dining experience. In only a few short years, Toast Café grew to three locations in North Carolina, and the owners are now ready to ramp up growth with plans...
Fast food companies like Red Mango work to constantly update their online sites.
Promotions
Dan Kim, founder and chief concept officer of frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, spearheaded a relaunch of his company’s website two years ago. The site was refreshingly simple and easy to use. Even still, Red Mango is in the midst of another website overhaul. “We’re going to simplify a lot of things...
Top women executives like Cheryl Bachelder are changing fast food for the better
Women in Foodservice
The women of foodservice are a savvy, confident, and—perhaps most importantly—growing group. They’ve fought their way to the top, led entire brands at young ages, chaired restaurant associations and organizations, and in some cases been the first female executive at their organization. Though the...
Fast Track to Fresh
Capitalizing on consumer demand for healthy options, Jamba Juice accelerated the rollout of its new fresh-squeezed juicing platform, completing the nationwide expansion by June 2, several months ahead of schedule. To ensure optimal freshness, Jamba Juice enhanced its supply chain to minimize food...
Quick service restaurant franchisees prepare FDDs with unit economics in mind.
Prospering Over the Long Term
For years, the two most important words in franchising—for both franchisors and franchisees—have been unit economics. The success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved. Yet many franchisors and franchisees alike pay inadequate...
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 restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Quick service restaurant Bojangles serves indulgent Southern food like chicken biscuits.
It’s Bo Time
Charlotte, North Carolina–based Bojangles’ may fall into the chicken quick-service category, but as any executive, operator, employee, or loyal fan will tell you, it’s all about the biscuit. And for good reason: The item is included or featured in nearly 80 of the brand’s menu items, a fact that...
Fast food brands like Auntie Annes redesign store interior to draw new consumers.
Closed for Renovation
Restaurant redesigns and renovations are a big undertaking for quick-serve brands and often involve a certain level of risk. But renovations are also increasingly appealing for operators looking to improve their store design and environment and the financial benefits that might come with it....
Fresh Bread
Bread may be the staff of life, but it’s really pretty basic: flour, water, yeast, and salt, or some sort of substitute for the latter two. However, the way these items are combined, as well as other ingredients that are added, can make a huge difference in taste and texture, as quick-service...