Growth
After college graduation and an eight-month stint supervising the post–Hurricane Katrina cleanup, Justin Harris wasted little time in taking on the quick-service industry. Harris, like so many others in the field, signed on with Dickey’s Barbecue Pit without any prior ownership or operations...
Healthy Denver based fast casual offers fresh instead of processed ingredients.
Emerging Concepts
When Patrick Fox opened Cava Greens in 2002, he fashioned it to be the anti–quick serve. The food court–based eatery inside Denver’s 56-story Republic Plaza dishes up custom, hand-tossed salads alongside a range of fresh and natural offerings. The store resists processed foods in favor of dozens of...
Quick service brands like Tropical Smoothie Cafe move to college real estate.
Growth
Millennials. Ever heard of ’em? Of course you have. Millennials are all anyone in foodservice can talk about right now, the crème de la crème of today’s coveted customer demographics. Depending on whom you ask, they might be 20 years old or they might be 35 years old; studies vary on what, exactly...
Some quick service chief executives also double as brand franchisees.
Executive Insights
Quick-serve leaders have a lot of their plate, whether it’s finding ways to boost the brand’s growth or looking out for all of the people and operators in their care. Still, for some CEOs, running the company isn’t the only thing they’re concerned about; they’re also focused on making their own...
Food trucks present a threat to traditional quick service restaurants.
Competition
Competition is fierce in the restaurant industry, and quick serves are facing yet another threat in the fight for share of stomach. A recent study from the NPD Group, a global information company, revealed that when consumers opt for a food-truck visit, it often replaces a visit that otherwise...
Industry News
Somewhere between the Wild West of quick serves and fast casuals and the frontier of full-service dining lies a middle ground occupied by family-style hybrids. Two such concepts, longtime American staples Bonanza and Ponderosa, are stampeding ahead of the rest by revitalizing their brands to remain...
Fast food brands are using marketing, staffing, and menu items to boost traffic.
Industry News
It comes as no surprise that the holiday season rakes in big bucks for retailers. They hauled in nearly $580 billion in 2012 alone, according to the National Retail Federation. But shopping centers and big-box retailers won’t be the only businesses to cash in this holiday season, as quick serves...
Quick service brands like Fatburger offer delivery to expand sales opportunities
Ordering
Though pizza may still be the food of choice for customers wanting something delivered to their door, brands from all categories within the limited-service industry are trying their hand at delivery. Even one of the biggest concepts in quick service, Burger King, has jumped on the delivery...
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...
Unusual quick service restaurant units locate in high traffic customer locations like casinos.
Uncommon Ground
A cruise ship on the Rhine River in Germany. The FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. A Toys“R”Us in Manhattan. The Camp Pendleton military base near San Diego. Where moving people are, quick-service restaurants want to be, a reality that continues shaping the rapid and aggressive evolution of the...
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...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Very Cool
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...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...
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...