Regional barbecue menu options give customers flavors of the community.
Menu Innovations
A great way to start an argument is to talk about America’s best barbecue. It’s a dispute that won’t be resolved. “A lot depends on where you were raised, because you get an emotional allegiance to one particular type of barbecue,” says Peter Reinhart, chef on assignment in the College of Culinary...
Uncle Maddio's applied the Chipotle fast casual model to a pizza franchise.
Emerging Concepts
Matt Andrew is no stranger to the limited-service world. He spent eight years on the management team at Moe’s Southwest Grill, giving him the background necessary to create Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint. But there was one major hurdle to overcome before opening his own quick-serve pizza restaurant. “...
Chick-fil-A is the top quick service brand in customer experience.
In the Store
The quick-service industry is feeding consumers an experience worth an encore—in some cases, at least. According to a recent study by customer experience firm Temkin Group, the industry ranked second among 19 for highest customer-experience ratings. In addition, the industry’s average rating jumped...
Catering programs give quick serve operators a strong competitive edge.
Outside Insights
As consumer markets continue to converge, catering remains an important topic of discussion in the boardrooms of our community’s restaurant chains. Historically, catering was left to the “caterers” who focused on filling off-premise consumer demand, while restaurateurs focused on the in-store...
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Mobile wallet platforms give fast food restaurants engaging new marketing tool.
Outside Insights
It is no secret that mobile wallets are trending upward for the foreseeable future. According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the global mobile wallet market is forecasted to reach $1,602.4 billion in five years, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.7 percent...
Smashburger cofounder explains craft beer and burger pairing at Chicago event.
Industry News
Inside Smashburger’s newest Chicago-area restaurant, a hip-looking joint in the city’s trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood, company founder and chief concept officer Tom Ryan holds up the brand’s Windy City Burger as if it’s Lord Stanley’s Cup. Packed with layers of melted Cheddar cheese, haystack...
Industry News
To say Kona Ice is growing quickly would be an understatement. In the first six months of 2013 alone, the shaved ice concept has expanded from 305 trucks on the road to 409—opening a whopping 100 trucks in 100 days, says president and Kona Ice founder Tony Lamb. “We’ve been building like crazy all...
Global flavors inspire new barbecue menu options at quick serve restaurants.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
I have an admission to make: Although I’m not an anthropologist, I have determined definitively, through informal surveys of a few good friends, that the love of aromas found in smoke is locked securely into our genes. There’s just something about meat and fire. You can bake, broil, poach, pan-fry...
Quick service beverage providers shake up tea product with new twists.
Reading the Tea Leaves
It’s summer. It’s hot. And chances are good that if you’re nestled comfortably in a backyard hammock—or perched on a porch swing, sprawled out on the beach, casting a line at the ol’ fishing hole, or engaged in any number of other stereotypical warm-weather activities straight out of a Norman...
Quick service brands leverage franchise system for strategic growth.
The Franchise Formula
For upstart quick-service restaurants considering the move to franchising, the path can precipitate a major shift in business model and operations. Beyond the economic investment in franchising, experts say, operators must ensure their brand will consistently deliver quality across all locations. “...
Auntie Anne’s invests in tomorrow’s talent.
Promise for the Future
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...