Quick service concepts like Chick-fil-A use marketing to improve brand image.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: What does it take for a quick-service brand to become a great brand? A: I get this question all the time. Many people look at superstar brands like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Nike and mistakenly conclude those companies achieved their successes as a result of good timing, great advertising,...
LA fast casual Marcona offers East Coast deli menu items with West Coast flare.
Emerging Concepts
Amid the glitz and glam of Hollywood’s boutiques and TV studios, Collier Ulrich’s upstart eatery, Marcona, is making a name for itself with turkey and ham. The New York native’s almost-two-year-old gourmet sandwich shop serves up classic East Coast deli fare enhanced by Mediterranean influences and...
Children consumers demand healthy and customizable menus from quick service.
Industry News
It's no surprise that children love to eat at quick-serve restaurants. But a recent survey by Chicago–based research firm Y-Pulse shows that, beyond a noticeable increase in their favorability ratings for such establishments in the last few years, kids also have higher expectations for the industry...
Hotel brands like Hilton are developing more fresh foodservice offerings.
Competition
Consumer demand for more convenient, healthier foods has affected the quick-service industry for the last several years. Now the trend might be helping to create a new competitor for traditional quick-serve brands: hotels. Hotel food offerings were once minimal, unhealthy, or expensive, sending...
Some quick service brands establish legacies through limited regional expansion.
Competition
Stop a local in the Chicago area, inquire about the closest Portillo’s restaurant, and you’re almost certain to get directions to the Chicago-based chain’s nearest location (alongside some ordering suggestions). With its signature Vienna beef hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, Portillo’s is a...
One Dickey's franchisee employs workers with intellectual disabilities.
Human Resources
Building a reliable workforce is essential to success in the quick-serve business, as is connecting with the local community through socially conscious means. At least one franchisee is killing those two birds with one stone by integrating his hiring process with his charitable work. A Wisconsin-...
Fast food restaurants can innovate breakfast menus with new bowl options.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
In the fast-food breakfast world, the carrier has long been king. From McMuffins to Croissan’wiches, burritos to breakfast wraps, flatbreads to breakfast paninis, and now—thank you, Dunkin’ Donuts—even breakfast sandwiches served on a glazed doughnut, fast-food chains have dedicated an inordinate...
Industry News
The burger segment could learn a thing or two from its more malleable brother, the sandwich. Despite the surge of better-burger companies, consumers are not as satisfied with burger brands as they are sandwich concepts, according to a quick-service restaurant benchmark study from Empathica Inc., a...
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...
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...
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 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...