Loyalty-program members can track life goals on Zoës Kitchen's L.I.F.E. app.
Operations
Customers continue to place a premium on value, and several quick-service and fast-casual brands have found that an engaging and effective loyalty program can be one of the best ways to achieve a value position without simply slashing prices. But loyalty programs aren’t a one-and-done process. Not...
Industry News
The Earl of Sandwich, home of “The World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich,” has chosen the Punchh Marketing Automation Platform to engage and reward its loyal customers on mobile devices and acquire new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. The 24-unit chain selected Punchh for its simplicity of...
Veggie Grill uses Smartsheet to smooth the real-estate selection process.
Outside Insights
As a consumer, whenever I see a sign for a restaurant that says “Grand Opening”, I usually think about creative menus, unique specials and promotions, and new customer relationships. While it can be very exciting for patrons, many restaurant owners and managers find opening a new location to be...
Some operators have been slow to incorporate allergy-friendly menu options.
Industry News
Cutting calories, lowering fat content, and providing healthy, fresh ingredients have become increasingly commonplace in the limited-service industry over the past few years. But while U.S. quick serves have embraced the healthy lifestyle movement, some wonder if operators are still overlooking the...
Papa John's offers potential franchisees strong AUV and national brand exposure.
Franchising
It’s back and bigger than ever. Now in its fourth year, our “Best Franchise Deals” report has become the can’t-miss list of top quick-service and fast-casual franchises, assessing factors such as investment-to-sales ratio, marketplace differentiation, corporate support to franchisees, and positive...
Solar Roast Coffee uses unique roasting method to create premium coffee.
Emerging Concepts
What do you get when you combine a satellite dish, a stockpot, a broccoli steamer, and a car jack? The origins of Solar Roast Coffee, a Pueblo, Colorado–based outlet serving solar power–roasted coffee. Initially more of a science project than a business concept, brothers Mike and David Hartkop...
Boston Market CEO interacts at store level with his fast casual customers.
Executive Insights
When George Michel took the chief executive reins at Boston Market in October 2010, he inherited a concept with a tumultuous 25-year history that included bankruptcy, a headline-grabbing purchase—and subsequent sale—by McDonald’s, uneven numbers, and fading consumer interest. In no time, though,...
Industry News
McAlister’s Deli is celebrating summer with new limited-time promotions, including BBQ pulled pork, refreshing dessert shooters, and a new twist on McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. Available July 8 through September 29, the new menu items include:   BBQ Pulled Pork Items: Sandwich – Pulled pork, BBQ...
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...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Quick service restaurant franchisees prepare FDDs with unit economics in mind.
Prospering Over the Long Term
For years, the two most important words in franchising—for both franchisors and franchisees—have been unit economics. The success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved. Yet many franchisors and franchisees alike pay inadequate...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Unusual quick service restaurant units locate in high traffic customer locations like casinos.
Uncommon Ground
A cruise ship on the Rhine River in Germany. The FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. A Toys“R”Us in Manhattan. The Camp Pendleton military base near San Diego. Where moving people are, quick-service restaurants want to be, a reality that continues shaping the rapid and aggressive evolution of the...
Very Cool
For many Americans, there’s nothing like drinking a tall, cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day. Whether plain, sweetened, infused with fruit flavors, or part of a specialty beverage, iced tea is increasingly popular nationwide. Limited-service restaurants have seen solid growth with iced...