Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: We've recently been presented with some very attractive opportunities that have the potential to really grow our company. How should we evaluate these? A: Let me offer you congratulations—and caution. Congratulations on having these opportunities; whether you're being presented with potential...
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Regional flavors anchor quick-serve menus abroad.
Expansion
In a globalized world, many quick-serve restaurants look to emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and other regions for new growth ventures. While these retailers strive to maintain the cornerstones of their brand, international menus can’t be carbon copies of the American originals. Regional...
Mobile platforms offer new tools for hiring, training, and retaining Millennial
Human Resources
It’s no secret that the quick-serve industry has a high turnover rate, and the time and money businesses spend to hire new employees add up fast. But some operators are turning to mobile platforms to change employee hiring and retention strategies, thanks in part to a high percentage of Millennial...
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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...
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...
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...
Quick service pizza restaurants roll out mobile apps and ordering tools.
Order’s Up
More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff...
Quick service restaurant operators can survey equipment options at NAFEM Show.
2015 NAFEM Show Preview
THE Q&A We spoke with officials at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers about what attendees can expect from this year’s event. What is the purpose of the NAFEM Show? The NAFEM Show features foodservice equipment and supplies from 500-plus manufacturers. At the show,...
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...
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...