High tech restaurant tools give customers interactive games to play in the store
In the Store
When Richtree Natural Market, a Canadian quick-service brand, began developing a food-court concept for the Toronto Eaton Centre mall, company leaders knew they wanted to incorporate innovative technology into the customer experience. “In today’s age, when you think about efficiency, you...
New touch screen ordering kiosks find home at fast food restaurants.
Industry News
Recent technology enhancements by White Castle and McDonald’s show that even traditional quick-service burger chains are considering letting patrons customize their orders. Last month, White Castle added two touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio....
Quick serves can expand side dish options by looking beyond the fried potato.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
The composition of the modern American meal is pretty well established. The main dish/side dish/beverage/dessert formula hasn’t changed appreciably in eons, and though occasional upstarts surface to challenge this sequence from time to time (think small plates, one-pot meals, sharing menus, and...
Industry News
The year 2013 was a busy one for quick-service restaurant operators. Innovative new brands ranging from ethnic concepts to pizza fast casuals gobbled up more market share as traditional companies like McDonald’s struggled to find consistency. Legal issues such as health care and wage debates busied...
Industry News
Step into the former Caribou Coffee unit in Olde Raleigh, North Carolina, and you’ll catch a whiff of something unexpected: the scent of fresh-baked bagels and muffins. ­That’s because the Duraleigh Road location is now home to a Caribou and a Bruegger’s in one cobranded space. While the two brands...
Fast food chains reinvent fried side dishes.
Menu Innovations
Despite their name, french fries are as American as the 4th of July and are a mainstay in the quick-service universe. Fries are the most popular side item at U.S. limited-service eateries, outpacing others by a wide margin, according to various menu-monitoring reports. But other fried sides are now...
Understanding the two types of people in the world.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
The scenario plays out something like this: I am sitting at home on a Sunday evening, talking with my beautiful wife, when suddenly I get inspired. My brain has had the weekend to relax, the caffeine level in my bloodstream is at its weekly low, and I’ve just gotten out of a long shower. It’s the...
Quick service restaurant brands like Pizza Fusion expand idea of green operation
Sustainability
When Arianne Bennett opened the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Washington, D.C., in 2004, she had some ambitious sustainability aims: green products, solar power, composting, community dumpsters. She had a vision of creating her own eco-friendly utopia in a world only then beginning to ride the...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
Quick service brands can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
Quick service restaurant franchise owner used work ethic to climb from store manager.
The Franchisee Fast Track
Having started as a sandwich maker with Subway when he was 18 years old, Gurpreet Singh has spent nearly half his life in the quick-service industry. Now a Checkers franchisee, Singh has spent time in every quick-serve job imaginable: line worker, manager, general manager, and, today, franchisee....
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...
Quick service brands can explore innovative potato dishes like poutine.
A New Plan for Potatoes
What can I possibly tell you about potatoes, dear quick-serve industry professional, that you don’t already know? It’s not as though you’re unacquainted with America’s favorite starch. You may even know that it’s the world’s fourth-largest food crop, trailing behind only rice, corn, and wheat,...
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...