Quick service breakfast competition competes for restaurant super fans.
Outside Insights
Competition in the quick-service industry is heating up after Taco Bell rolled out hard-hitting advertising for its new breakfast menu with jabs at McDonald’s that suggest the quick-service leader is not keeping up with the times. McDonald’s, meanwhile, is grappling with recent quarterly results...
Fast food chicken restaurant in Chicago borrows dining experience from club.
Industry News
Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are not your typical restaurateurs, and that's just the way they like it. Call them alternative or off the cuff, the close friends and business partners are growing a foodservice brand built around a relational dining experience. Cikowski and Kulp met in culinary...
Florida based fast casual Burger 21 serves high quality menu in upscale setting.
Emerging Concepts
Despite the research and years of experience that went into creating Burger 21, the concept’s president has been surprised by one aspect of the business: the brand’s broad consumer appeal. “The amazing thing we didn’t predict was so many parties coming in with three generations,” says Mark Johnston...
Florida quick serve Huahua's Taqueria serves Mexican fare in outdoor setting.
Emerging Concepts
Opened in July 2013 by Miami restaurateurs Michael Boles and Niloy Thakkar, Huahua’s elevates the taco’s presence in South Beach. The concept pairs traditional Mexican favorites with avant-garde offerings crafted by Culinary Institute of America–trained chef Todd Erickson. With just three seats in...
Tropical Smoothie Café's CEO shares how he built a lifestyle brand.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I worked at Baskin-Robbins all through high school and all through college, and really got into management. I did everything for the franchisee when I was in college—I ordered product, I hired, I fired, I did payroll. So it really got me into the business and hospitality. I thought it was a lot of...
Fast food brands scale food safety efforts up as they grow across the country.
Food Safety
It could happen to any restaurant. Business is strong, with sales and unit counts growing quickly. Optimism abounds for a healthy future. And then it happens. Contaminated food supplies filter into the system. Hundreds of customers get sick. Traffic and sales plunge as consumers worry over the food...
Quick service chains apply for trademark names to secure competitive advantage.
Competition
With constant pressure to churn out innovative menu items, some quick serves are protecting and marketing unique creations through trademarks, which, while tricky to obtain, have paid off handsomely for many owners and operators. At Austin, Texas­–based Schlotzsky’s, a trademarked sandwich known as...
Restaurant brand Blimpie partnered with Texas nonprofit to support organization.
Charitable Giving
At first glance, a nonprofit subdivision developer and a sandwich restaurant seem a far-fetched choice for partnership—ham and cheese and mortgages have seemingly little in common. But nonprofit executive Bobby Calvillo and Blimpie area developer Alan Crites found their visions for a community...
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...
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 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,...
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...
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 companies saw stocks fall in 2014 but could rebound with Shake Shack IPO.
Stocks Dip in 2014
After outperforming Wall Street the past few years, the stock prices of restaurant companies with quick-service concepts finished a bit worse than the overall market in 2014. Slightly more than half of limited-service dining companies’ stocks were bested by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index last...