Fast food chains grow in Russia as country stirs up controversy.
Growth
A new report by The NPD Group, which provides global foodservice market research, shows a 7 percent increase in foodservice visits in Russia over the last quarter of 2013, making it No. 1 in traffic growth among nations NPD tracks. That’s a relief to American quick-service operators, who are headed...
Quick service chains consider adding tipping function to point of sale.
Industry News
While tipping has never been a customer expectation in the limited-service restaurant industry, some chains have implemented gratuity options with their new, higher-tech point-of-sale systems, like counter payment terminals or mobile apps. But not every brand is certain whether tipping is...
Quick service chains file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to save brand legacy.
Industry News
Once slandered as the “B word,” bankruptcy is finding new life as an opportunity for new beginnings. Blue-chip brands like Eddie Bauer, Delta Air Lines, and the Chicago Cubs are among the list of house-hold business names that have filed for bankruptcy in modern times, times in which even city...
Coffee giant Starbucks has invested in diversifying its product portfolio.
Competition
Like the melodic tune of a mythical fish-tailed woman luring in unsuspecting sailors on the open ocean, the siren of Starbucks’ famous logo beckons the masses toward a promise of quality, of familiarity, of a ubiquitous yet iconic American coffee experience. Part muse, part marketing tool, she...
Quick service brand serves all vegan food to health conscious customers.
Emerging Concepts
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...
Healthier and fresh quick service restaurant foods offer menu innovation.
Health
Lighter menu offerings at restaurants long ago moved from being a nice option for health-conscious customers to being the expectation of a sizeable chunk of the population. Increased consumer demand for more nutritious dining choices has sparked an industry-wide movement toward health-focused menu...
Quick service chain Wahlburgers owned by celebrity Mark Wahlberg.
Industry News
As Wahlburgers, a burger concept founded by actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and their brother Paul, readies its first franchise openings this year, the management team is hoping to capitalize on the publicity created by the famous owners and a popular A&E Network reality show, “Wahlburgers,”...
Healthier quick service restaurant menus serve healthier minded customers.
Health
The nutritional value of limited-service restaurant food has been the topic of debate among consumers, critics, and operators for some time. Growing concerns over Americans’ high obesity levels have only heightened the debate, leading some observers to encourage increased governmental regulation of...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...