Chipotle Mexican Grill
Industry News
Hundreds of Chipotle restaurants aren’t selling carnitas for the third straight week after the fast-casual chain suspended one of its pork suppliers for violating animal welfare standards. While opting to uphold the company’s standards could prove beneficial for consumer loyalty, the shortage...
Quick service restaurant companies grow in small American cities with hungry population.
Growth
The fast-casual renaissance that has taken over the restaurant industry in the last decade has lately infused excitement and momentum into the broader limited-service sector. Market research firm Mintel found that sales at fast-casual restaurants grew 10.5 percent last year, compared with 6.1...
Upstart Canadian quick service franchise expands in US markets.
Emerging Concepts
Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen is bringing the cuisine of 10 different countries—Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Korea, China, Japan, India, Cambodia, and Vietnam—to a growing number of U.S. regions. Wok Box first opened in Edmonton, Alberta, slightly more than a decade ago. The concept...
Gigi Butler of quick service restaurant concept Gigis Cupcakes started cleaning houses in Nashville.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I never saw myself baking full-time. It was always in my family—my great-grandmother, my great-aunts, grandmother, my own mother, etc. I was taught at an early age how to bake a cake, and it became a part of our family’s culture. Outside of the home kitchen growing up, I had little exposure to a...
Industry News
Dig Inn Seasonal Market, a fast-casual, farm-to-counter concept based in New York City, received $15 million in funding to explore markets outside the city and to build its supply-chain infrastructure. The restaurant’s founder, Adam Eskin, says expanding its 10-unit operation to new East Coast...
Quick service restaurant companies explore new US markets for expansion.
Industry News
The South has risen. With 20 entries on QSR’s Growth 40 report, an annual listing of the 40 U.S. markets best positioned for quick-service restaurant expansion, the South’s dominance shines from Florida to Texas and up to the Mason-Dixon line in markets big and small. “The South is really driven by...
Quick service concept operators serve new pasta and noodle menu items.
Menu Innovations
They’re made with just flour and water, but mixing these simple ingredients has created one of the world’s most popular foods. Noodles, from Italian pasta to all-American macaroni and cheese, and from Asian wheat or rice flour versions to those used for chicken noodle soup, are on the menus at...
Fast food restaurant operators can innovate menu items through pasta and noodle dishes.
Menu Innovations
What makes a really good noodle?  Pasta is an incredibly simple food—just wheat and water. So the quality and type of wheat are critical for the al dente texture and durability, as well as the flavor. At Barilla, we use hard durum semolina, sourcing the best from North America and all over 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...