Quick serves can improve and innovate menu items with bold spices and flavors.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
Sometime in the late 1990s, I was in Albuquerque with a sweet tooth and a few extra minutes before my flight. Working my way through a busy retail area, I happened upon a hole-in-the-wall pie shop offering what were, at the time, some of the most unusual pastries I’d ever seen or heard of. Out of...
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...
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 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...
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 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...
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...