Industry News
The limited-service restaurant industry is cashing in on diners’ New Year’s resolutions for healthy eating in a big way. At bagel concept Einstein Bros. Bagels, for example, January 1 marked renewed focus on the brand’s Smart Choices menu, which boasts a selection of better-for-you alternatives...
New trends like tea as a beverage and ingredient will affect fast food industry.
Industry News
There is always excitement at the beginning of a new year, with renewed hopes of health, wealth, and happiness. It’s no different in the limited-service industry, where brands are studying up on potential trends for the next 12 months to ensure a prosperous 2014. For now, operators are feeling...
High tech restaurant tools give customers interactive games to play in the store
In the Store
When Richtree Natural Market, a Canadian quick-service brand, began developing a food-court concept for the Toronto Eaton Centre mall, company leaders knew they wanted to incorporate innovative technology into the customer experience. “In today’s age, when you think about efficiency, you...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...