Fast casual restaurant uses potatoes as menu ingredient carrier.
Competition
Allen Dikker is on a mission to change the way consumers think about potatoes. In December 2011, the former marketing pro opened the potato-peddling Potatopia at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey. In the 350-square-foot space, Potatopia serves up six signature potato-based creations, and...
Fast food restaurant Chipotle labels packaging with creative content.
Industry News
Michael Lewis’s thoughts on managing time. A George Saunders note to the future. Barn raising with Malcolm Gladwell. These aren’t part of a short story anthology or panels at a literary conference; they’re what is now plastered on the side of a Chipotle cup. What started as an idea from writer...
Local social media marketing boosts quick serve restaurants profile.
Social Media
While it’s become standard practice for corporate brands to engage consumers through channels such as Facebook and Twitter, location-specific marketing could be the new wave of social media. Increasingly, quick-service brands are targeting consumers in individual markets across the U.S. “It’s...
Quick service restaurant McDonald's added recycling message to packaging.
Sustainability
McDonald’s and GreenBlue, an environmental nonprofit that helps businesses implement sustainable practices, partnered to help customers nationwide better understand recycling. The brand became the largest restaurant chain to label its packaging with the How2Recycle label from GreenBlue's...
Quick service food in movie cinema houses draw customers to theater.
Competition
The movie theater’s lights dim. A man and woman sit cradled in a leather love seat–style recliner as the previews begin. A handful of black-clad waiters and waitresses scatter from the aisles, quietly, unobtrusively making their way out as the film rolls. The man and woman settle further into their...
Quick service franchisees create strong customer service with employees.
Franchising
For David Beaton, working for Tim Hortons has been a lifelong passion. The Nova Scotia native started working for the 50-year-old Canadian chain after graduating from business school in 1992 and has helped grow its presence in the U.S. His wife, Allanna, a former teacher, has been his partner in...
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...
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...
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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...
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...
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...
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...