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...
Famous celebrities invest in fast food industry through franchise partnerships.
Franchising
Outside a new Memphis-area Wingstop, a small crowd of locals gathers for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening. The restaurant looks like most others in the Texas-based brand’s portfolio—a modest sign with a signature dark green sans serif type protrudes from a beige concrete exterior,...
For Chick-fil-A CEO and president Dan Cathy, foodservice is a family operation.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I’ve been a “lifer” with this family business called Chick-fil-A. I started visiting our family restaurant, The Dwarf Grill, nine months before I was born. When we were very young, my dad [Truett Cathy] would take me, my brother, and my sister to the restaurant, where we would not only scrape the...
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Auntie Anne’s invests in tomorrow’s talent.
Operations
Forget the age-old stereotype of teens being more interested in schlep than success. Auntie Anne’s corporate executives and franchise partners have seen first-hand that there is promising business potential in today’s high-school students. Fifty teens at the brand’s Leaders & Entrepreneurs...
Proposed minimum wage increases have operators worried about labor costs.
Industry News
Brands and operators in the quick-service industry are not looking forward to proposed minimum wage increases that are being seriously considered by states, local municipalities, and the federal government, especially following President Obama’s most recent State of the Union address. After...
Corn prices are expected to drop 20 percent in 2014.
Fast Casual
Two years after a major drought increased feed prices, restaurant operators should see relief in the year ahead and capitalize on lower prices to pad the bottom line, according to a recent report. Corn prices are expected to drop 20 percent in 2014, according to a forecast released in November by...
Quick service brands use national TV exposure to grow in local markets.
Promotions
National broadcast advertising creates a large ripple effect across the country, and quick-serve brands are finding that such advertising can be useful in building demand in new and emerging markets. Using advertisements to build a buzz for a brand that has yet to reach certain regions can lead to...
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 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...
Quick service operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...
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 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...