Mexican fast casual Chipotle is launching a catering service to grow business.
Industry News
Chipotle is tapping into new consumer occasions with the recent national rollout of its catering program. The added operation allows the brand to compete in a different space with fast-casual concepts like Panera and Qdoba Mexican Grill that have established catering options. Chipotle tested...
Fast food restaurants leveraged food and marketing initiatives to grow in 2013.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My year-end top brand stories recap was well received last year, and I decided to do it again. I’ll break from my usual Q&A format to recap this year’s most important brand developments in fast food. Taco Bell. Taco Bell continued to ride the wave it created last year with Doritos Locos Tacos...
Fast casual Toast Cafe focuses on brunch daypart to build business.
Fast Casual
When co-owners Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill launched Toast Café in 2005, they set out to create a concept that offers a better breakfast dining experience. In only a few short years, Toast Café grew to three locations in North Carolina, and the owners are now ready to ramp up growth with plans...
Fast food companies like Red Mango work to constantly update their online sites.
Promotions
Dan Kim, founder and chief concept officer of frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, spearheaded a relaunch of his company’s website two years ago. The site was refreshingly simple and easy to use. Even still, Red Mango is in the midst of another website overhaul. “We’re going to simplify a lot of things...
Top women executives like Cheryl Bachelder are changing fast food for the better
Women in Foodservice
The women of foodservice are a savvy, confident, and—perhaps most importantly—growing group. They’ve fought their way to the top, led entire brands at young ages, chaired restaurant associations and organizations, and in some cases been the first female executive at their organization. Though the...
The quick service restaurant Lion's Choice will expand under new owners.
Growth
When Marvin Gibbs decided that he wanted to sell the quick-service chain he started 45 years ago, he knew he had to sell it to someone that understood the business. His St. Louis–based company, Lion’s Choice, a roast beef chain with 15 company stores and eight franchise locations, has a consumer...
New York quick service concept Dogmatic offers premium hot dog menu items.
Emerging Concepts
Handcrafted, grilled-to-order, European-style hot dogs highlight the ambitious menu at New York City’s Dogmatic. Fresh-baked bread carries sausages that are made from sustainable, farm-raised meat and are topped with homemade gourmet sauces such as Cheddar Jalapeño and Chimichurri. One food critic...
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Industry News
As the restaurant industry adapts to smartphones and other mobile technology to meet the needs of on-the-go consumers, one company is making it easier to digitally wade through endless dining options with nutrition and health at top of mind. Launched in the early 1990s, Healthy Dining began as a...
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...
Quick service brands add sustainable seafood items to fight ocean climate change.
Sea Change
Though U.S. consumption is well below other proteins today, seafood will likely be an increasingly important part of the American diet in the years to come. The country’s population is predicted to grow by 89 million between 2010 and 2050 to 401 million people. More people require more food—and...
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...
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 restaurants relaunch to build franchising program.
Franchise Fixes
Companies have good reasons for acquiring franchise brands. Often they see potential in a brand and hope to use their own resources to build it into a national contender. Many brands, though, need a healthy dose of TLC after acquisition. And some companies have found that a good rebranding can...
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...