Outside Insights
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...
Legendary Texas based quick service restaurant Frenchys looks to grow.
Industry News
Every city has its hole-in-the wall spots that locals and foodies swear by. In Houston, family-owned Frenchy’s Chicken is on that list. The 46-year-old chicken brand’s Scott Street location is an institution. Its Creole-seasoned chicken is a “best of” winner in several publications year after year...
Quick service pizza restaurants roll out mobile apps and ordering tools.
Ordering
More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff...
Bakery cafe quick service restaurant concept Tim Hortons hopes to leverage Burger King resources.
Competition
Tim Hortons has devoted fans in the U.S. One need only to read the Twitter and Facebook feed on the brand’s U.S. website to see the passion. “Can you please open a Tim Hortons in Cincinnati???” writes Kevin Ryne Laile. “I just had the best/fastest/nicest @TimHortonsUS service!! The new one at 5...
Quick service brands create employee training programs to prevent sexual harassment.
Human Resources
A recent study by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) highlighted a troubling trend of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry: 60 percent of female and transgender workers and 46 percent of male workers report harassment as an uncomfortable aspect of work life. These findings...
Quick service brands are leveraging potential in Motor City.
Industry News
Once a bankrupt city left for dead, Detroit is showing signs of becoming a hot destination for quick-service and fast-casual concepts. Where city blocks were once ghost towns, real estate developers today are building thriving centers for businesses and entertainment venues—and restaurant operators...
Quick service multiunit franchisee Tony Lutfi talks equation for franchising success.
Franchising
As CEO and president of Marlu Investment Group, Tony Lutfi has his hands more than full with a large quick-serve empire; his company operates 21 Jack in the Box, 47 Church’s Chicken, 53 Arby’s, five Little Caesars Pizza, and five Sizzler units. Most recently, Lutfi’s company acquired all five...
Spun off popular Washington DC tapas bar, Cava Grill lets cusotmers build own Mediterranean meal.
Emerging Concepts
Like many in the restaurant business, childhood friends Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, and Ted Xenohristos sought a new service platform to bring their traditional Greek and Mediterranean cooking to more Washington, D.C., residents. The trio adapted their full-service concept, Cava Mezze...
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...
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...
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...
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...