Quick service restaurants added new menu items in 2013, like Wendy's pretzel bun
Industry News
Despite a year filled with turmoil in Washington, the limited-service restaurant industry showed moderate growth and promise in 2013, thanks in part to creative new ideas and products, plus another good gain from fast-casual units. With issues such as sequestration, a payroll tax increase, the...
Quick serve franchise company offers three brands for franchisees to grow.
Industry News
While entrepreneurs behind upstart quick-service and fast-casual concepts usually focus their growth efforts on one brand, a young Ohio-based franchise company has pinned its expansion hopes on three separate brands. Ichor Restaurant Group serves as the umbrella company for three franchised fast-...
Quick service restaurant operators offer meatless options to draw vegetarians.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
When I was growing up in California’s San Joaquin Valley—once commonly known as the nation’s breadbasket—local farmers grew a significant percentage of the fruits and vegetables eaten by people in the rest of the country. They still do. Today, the Vegetable Research & Information Center at the...
Quick service restaurant companies should innovate in the POS arena.
Outside Insights
Jingle bells, wrapping paper, presents, and dining on the go—a medley of seasonal traditions mark the holidays year after year. For quick-service restaurants accommodating shoppers on the run, the holiday season often means increased traffic, longer order and checkout lines, and greater customer...
Fast food restaurant incorporate more vegetarian items for healthy offerings.
Menu Innovations
Beef, pork, poultry, and seafood may be the staples of the limited-service restaurant industry, but non-meat items aren’t taking a back seat on the menu these days. Although vegetarians make up a small percentage of the American dining population, an increasing number of consumers are deciding to...
Quick service companies like Tim Hortons and Cold Stone cobrand their business.
Growth
Menu innovation remains one of the best ways a brand can stay fresh in consumers’ minds, and quick serves are taking product development to another level by partnering with other food brands to create new menu items. These partnerships have created some of the most successful product launches in...
Industry News
As consumers increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets, quick-serve operators are presented with an opportunity to enhance the customer experience by also going mobile. That’s especially true today with point-of-sale (POS) systems, says Jared Isaacman, CEO of Harbortouch, a merchant services...
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Fatburger quick service chain adapted sister brand in cobranded location.
Industry News
Several quick-service concepts have cobranded with other companies in hopes of leveraging the other brand’s assets, like marketing and menu. But Fatburger is doing something a little different in cobranded locations with its full-service sister brand Buffalo’s Café: It’s adapting much of the latter...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...