Reputation management tools like Yelp help brands manage their online presence.
Outside Insights
Attempting to manage what’s being said about your restaurant in this ever-growing world of online review sites might seem like a job better suited for your clone. But alas, technology hasn’t caught up to make such dreams come true. If you’re working several hours running your restaurant by day and...
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Industry News
Value is in the eye of the beholder, and recent research suggests consumers find the most value in the pizza segment of the quick-service industry. “Value is an important driver in decisions,” says Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, a daily brand consumer perception research service. “We...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...