Florida based fast casual Little Greek offers Mediterranean dishes like kebabs.
Emerging Concepts
When the paths of an Estonian immigrant, a small Greek restaurant, and a successful restaurateur looking for the next big idea in fast-casual dining crossed, the result was an upstart brand, Little Greek Restaurant, that now has plans to expand across the U.S. Sigrid Bratic emigrated from Estonia...
The Goodfood Truck in Orlando shops healthier fast food options around town.
Emerging Concepts
Considering how many food trucks have hit the streets across the U.S., Kim Baxter has plenty to brag about. Last summer, Baxter and her upstart Orlando-based food truck, Goodfood, bested food trucks from around the country and captured $5,000 as winner of the inaugural Progressive Insurance Flo’s...
Americans increasingly enjoy hot and spicy foods from fast food restaurants.
Menu Innovations
Some like it hot. And some like it even hotter. Fiery dishes are heating up limited-service menus as operators increasingly recognize consumers’ growing interest in spicy, hot entrées. A 2013 Consumer Flavor Trend Report by Chicago-based restaurant market research firm Technomic found that a...
Restaurant brands like Denny's use marketing position to build customer loyalty.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: What is a "brand positioning," and do I need one for my restaurant? A: A brand positioning is a strategy statement that explains whom you are selling to, what your business scope is, and what you do to create value for your customers. A clear, definitive, and competitive brand positioning is...
Artisanal bread maker La Brea rebranded to expand vision for foodservice future.
Industry News
La Brea Bakery rebranded itself for the first time in 25 years, updating its logo, packaging, and café to reflect its expanding vision while also doubling down on its commitment to supply fresh bread both to foodservice companies and consumers. La Brea, which was originally built to supply a single...
Industry News
When the economy soured, the quick-service industry was not exempt from repercussions, but many brands took the opportunity to go back to the drawing board to draft a survival strategy. At Philly Pretzel Factory, that survival strategy flourished into a partnership with big-box retailer Walmart,...
Fast food brands use gluten free and allergy friendly menu items and preparation
Food Safety
Surging demand for dining options that are sensitive to dietary allergens has led to a change in offerings and operations for much of the restaurant industry, especially fast-casual concepts, where the customizable dish reigns. Gluten, the latest focus of the food allergy community, has had a...
A Maui Wowi quick service franchisee keeps his day job while running restaurant.
Franchising
Franchisees entering the quick-service space might not need to quit their day job, after all. A high school teacher for going on 11 years, Chad Knee recently ventured into the quick-serve industry with fruit smoothie and coffee retailer Maui Wowi Hawaiian, opening his first unit in June. Now, with...
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...
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 and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...
Quick service restaurant giant Taco Bell innovates breakfast menu with biscuit taco.
Taco Bell Is At It Again
Brian Niccol is a man on a mission. In the nearly two years since Niccol was tabbed as Taco Bell’s president, and in the three months since he became chief executive, the Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant chain has been an innovation engine for its parent company, Yum! Brands. Last year...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
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...