New touch screen ordering kiosks find home at fast food restaurants.
Industry News
Recent technology enhancements by White Castle and McDonald’s show that even traditional quick-service burger chains are considering letting patrons customize their orders. Last month, White Castle added two touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio....
Quick serves can expand side dish options by looking beyond the fried potato.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
The composition of the modern American meal is pretty well established. The main dish/side dish/beverage/dessert formula hasn’t changed appreciably in eons, and though occasional upstarts surface to challenge this sequence from time to time (think small plates, one-pot meals, sharing menus, and...
Industry News
The year 2013 was a busy one for quick-service restaurant operators. Innovative new brands ranging from ethnic concepts to pizza fast casuals gobbled up more market share as traditional companies like McDonald’s struggled to find consistency. Legal issues such as health care and wage debates busied...
Industry News
Step into the former Caribou Coffee unit in Olde Raleigh, North Carolina, and you’ll catch a whiff of something unexpected: the scent of fresh-baked bagels and muffins. ­That’s because the Duraleigh Road location is now home to a Caribou and a Bruegger’s in one cobranded space. While the two brands...
Fast food chains reinvent fried side dishes.
Menu Innovations
Despite their name, french fries are as American as the 4th of July and are a mainstay in the quick-service universe. Fries are the most popular side item at U.S. limited-service eateries, outpacing others by a wide margin, according to various menu-monitoring reports. But other fried sides are now...
Understanding the two types of people in the world.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
The scenario plays out something like this: I am sitting at home on a Sunday evening, talking with my beautiful wife, when suddenly I get inspired. My brain has had the weekend to relax, the caffeine level in my bloodstream is at its weekly low, and I’ve just gotten out of a long shower. It’s the...
Quick service restaurant brands like Pizza Fusion expand idea of green operation
Sustainability
When Arianne Bennett opened the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Washington, D.C., in 2004, she had some ambitious sustainability aims: green products, solar power, composting, community dumpsters. She had a vision of creating her own eco-friendly utopia in a world only then beginning to ride the...
Quick serve concept Teddy's Bigger Burgers serves up premium burgers in Hawaii.
Emerging Concepts
Most U.S. mainland residents have never been to a Teddy’s Bigger Burgers; those who have probably visited while on vacation. But that may soon change, as the Hawaii-based burger joint now has two mainland units and is poised for additional growth. After the first Teddy’s opened in Honolulu in 1998...
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...
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 brands create executive succession strategies to ease transition.
Navigating Corporate Succession
The chief executive officer is often the face of a brand. And when the time comes for a new leader to assume the role, experts say, an efficient succession plan can help establish a smooth transition and reassure employees that all is well with the brand. In its first-ever succession, Elevation...
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...
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...
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...