Noodles & Co. chef Tessa Stamper works in a test kitchen at the company’s headqu
Menu Innovations
Ray White has a problem. The chief foodie and head of product development for Southern California–based Veggie Grill wants to put bacon on his menu. To the average quick-service operator, this doesn’t seem like a problem at all. But consider that Veggie Grill is an all-vegan concept offering 100...
SoCal concept Lemonade uses fresh, seasonal ingredients for its offerings.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
The buzz has been consistent—thunderingly consistent. Not since Kogi BBQ has there been such excitement about a West Coast quick-service concept. But this one feels bigger to me; more important, more universal, less trendy, and at the tip of the innovation triangle. Like the iPad of food, Southern...
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Firehouse Subs has learned to prepare stores for emergencies like fires.
Operations
No operator wants to think about his restaurant catching on fire, a tornado destroying his roof, or an armed robber walking through his front door. But to successfully deal with unexpected emergencies, quick-serve restaurants must have a plan in place long before an event happens. The decisions...
Industry News
As the warm summer months quickly approach, la Madeleine Country French Café invites guests to unwind and cool down with its new French-inspired menu offerings and refreshing pomegranate berry iced tea. Chopped Salmon Niçoise Salade – Inspired by the flavors of southern France, this chopped salade...
Five to Seven will invest in healthy and sustainble fast food brands globally.
Industry News
Five to Seven, a new restaurant funding initiative launched in May by foodservice industry veterans Brad Blum and John Vincent, has goodness at its core and as its goal. “Good food for the planet” is the initiative’s tagline, as Blum and Vincent want “good food”—good in flavor, nutrition, and...
Freshii founder Matthew Corrin got his quick-service start at just 23 years old.
Executive Insights
In 1975, as a 17-year-old kid in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Peter Cancro wasn’t even old enough to legally slice a sub. But that didn’t stop him from embracing his ambition and love for the fast-food industry. That year, Cancro purchased his first Mike’s Subs shop. He later built the brand to...
New fast food brands like Live Basil first start as innovative business ideas.
Industry News
It always starts with a simple idea. For Brian Bailey at Ichor Restaurant Group, it began with the idea that Ohioans needed better barbecue. Six years after that idea initially took hold, Old Carolina Barbecue opened the doors to its first unit, in Canton, Ohio. The company later opened California-...
Ice cream brands are increasing innovation to take business back from fro yo.
Consumer Trends
They seemed to pop up almost overnight. In strip malls and on street corners across the country, frozen-yogurt shops suddenly offered an exciting new option for America’s collective sweet tooth, teasing at healthfulness and innovating with self service and customization. Once concentrated mostly in...
Fast food brands like Zingermans build growth strategy around quality.
The Mighty Indies
For every limited-service chain pushing for growth and expansion across the U.S., there’s a crop of independent single-unit brands forgoing the traditional growth strategy to focus on excellence at the community level. Operators at these restaurants wear many hats, often performing the tasks of an...
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...
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...
Modern restaurants capitalize on traditional approaches.
Old School Meets New
Call it a reflection of consumers’ growing desire for local fare or their increasing demand for cleaner food with minimal processing and fewer ingredients. But one thing is for sure in foodservice today: What’s old is most decidedly new again. Both brands and customers are returning to an old-...
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...
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...
Quick service brand serves all vegan food to health conscious customers.
Ones To Watch: Native Foods Café
The owners of the vegan fast-casual concept Native Foods Café decided if they could make it in Chicago—home of cheesy deep-dish pizza and Vienna beef hot dogs—they could make it anywhere. Founded in Palm Springs, California, by a vegan chef in 1994, Native Foods Café grew into a four-store chain...
Quick service concepts like Rise in North Carolina are accepting bitcoin money.
Are Bitcoins Legit?
Despite controversies surrounding the virtual currency bitcoin, a growing number of quick-serve restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and bars are allowing their customers to pay for their food and beverages via the digital currency. Bitcoins are a currency that is transferred directly between buyer...
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...