Quick service brands like Bojangles are moving into sports events like NASCAR.
Consumer Trends
Gone are the days of generic overcooked hot dogs and soggy nachos at sporting events. Quick-serve restaurants are expanding their reach to offer basketball, football, and other sports’ fans more familiar, branded foods at stadiums and arenas. One of the biggest benefits of operating in a sports...
Vending machines are able to provide fresher and more innovative food options.
Emerging Concepts
Long dominated by the likes of Twinkies and soda, the vending world is now counting quick-serve specialties among its selections. Consumers craving a fix from some of their favorite brands are no longer restricted by regular hours of operation, and operators can boost sales with a small initial...
White Castle Valentine's Day promotion enhances quick service experience.
Industry News
Quick-serve chains across the country are rolling out Valentine’s Day promotions to attract customers for the special day and, in some cases, the entire month of February. White Castle is holding its annual white-tablecloth Valentine’s Day Dinner in all 400 stores for the 20th year. Guests make...
Large US cities like Miami offer fast food operators promising growth potential.
Industry News
If this year’s Growth 40 report is any indication, plenty of quick-service brands will soon be following in the footsteps of basketball superstar LeBron James and taking their talents to South Beach. Miami tops QSR’s fourth annual Growth 40 report, claiming the first spot among the nation’s largest...
Chicago area quick serve The Stand features sustainable operations in restaurant
Outside Insights
Most restaurant openings contain rich backstories. Business models and financial projections seldom motivate individuals to pursue endeavors with 90 percent failure rates. In the world of quick service, this spirit of stubborn entrepreneurialism can often be experienced in its purest form by...
Fast food brands are adding new breakfast items like parfaits to their menu.
Menu Innovations
The morning meal has long been a key element of some limited-service restaurants, and it’s no surprise that the number of operators entering this daypart continues to grow, as owners look to boost their revenues and build customer loyalty. More than a dozen quick-service and fast-casual chains have...
Scott Gittrich of pizza concept Toppers has invested in business for long term.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I was taught by good people that you can capture magic if you’ve got a wonderful place that attracts really good people who believe in what you do. The thing that really gets me is there are about 1,300 Toppers team members out there today, and by and large, those people are highly engaged and...
Fast food options at sports stadiums like MetLife feature innovative menu items.
Industry News
With chicken wings, nachos, and pizza at the ready, more than 100 million fans will be piling into homes, restaurants, and bars across the country to watch the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks battle it out in Super Bowl XLVIII. But at New York City’s MetLife Stadium, home of this year’s Super...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...