Solar Roast Coffee uses unique roasting method to create premium coffee.
Emerging Concepts
What do you get when you combine a satellite dish, a stockpot, a broccoli steamer, and a car jack? The origins of Solar Roast Coffee, a Pueblo, Colorado–based outlet serving solar power–roasted coffee. Initially more of a science project than a business concept, brothers Mike and David Hartkop...
Boston Market CEO interacts at store level with his fast casual customers.
Executive Insights
When George Michel took the chief executive reins at Boston Market in October 2010, he inherited a concept with a tumultuous 25-year history that included bankruptcy, a headline-grabbing purchase—and subsequent sale—by McDonald’s, uneven numbers, and fading consumer interest. In no time, though,...
Industry News
McAlister’s Deli is celebrating summer with new limited-time promotions, including BBQ pulled pork, refreshing dessert shooters, and a new twist on McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. Available July 8 through September 29, the new menu items include:   BBQ Pulled Pork Items: Sandwich – Pulled pork, BBQ...
Ads focused on value instead of price drive purchase decisions at restaurants.
Promotions
Could the dollar menu soon be a thing of the past? It’s possible, according to findings from market research firm Phoenix Marketing International. A new study from the firm finds that customers don’t mind paying higher prices at restaurants as long as there’s a perceived value in the item or...
Taco Bell's strong culture helps improve the guest experience.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: Why is having a clear purpose and principles important to brand building? A: A debate I frequently have with restaurant executives is over the importance of culture in brand building. When I explain that great brands are fueled by a clearly articulated purpose and meaningful principles or values...
Read Full Story // read more about: Marketing, Taco Bell
Brands are applying the fast casual model to modernize Italian cuisine.
Industry News
Modern Italian cuisine is the next big thing in fast casual. Or at least, that’s what some major quick-service operators are banking on. Fazoli’s and Sbarro each plan to debut a fast-casual Italian concept in the near future, following in the footsteps of successful regional brands fusing popular...
Read Full Story // read more about: Sbarro, Fazoli's, Piada, Italio
Menu management service Locu lets brands update their menus on Yelp instantly.
Technology
In today’s social world, customers expect the information they need and want within seconds. That’s why menu management service Locu is partnering with Yelp to let restaurants distribute and update their menus, daily specials, and photos on Yelp in real time. “Our goal at Locu is to help local...
Read Full Story // read more about: Ordering, Operations
Beef farmers are improving their operations to answer demand for sustainability.
Industry News
Miles removed from the nearest highway, shopping mall, and chain restaurant—or any restaurant at all—lie 40,000 acres of forest, meadows, and pastures, home to wildlife of all sorts and 1,400 head of Red Angus cattle. The herd, property of Meyer Company Ranch, roam free under the big sky of Montana...
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...
Coffee Concepts Can Target Lunch Guests with Demographic Data
First, Taco Bell turned the burrito on its side with the launch of a new breakfast menu, and now, traditional morning daypart chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are looking to extend their bite to the much-larger lunch slice. Although Dunkin’ has been after the coffee-drinking market that makes up...
Fresh Bread
Bread may be the staff of life, but it’s really pretty basic: flour, water, yeast, and salt, or some sort of substitute for the latter two. However, the way these items are combined, as well as other ingredients that are added, can make a huge difference in taste and texture, as quick-service...
Quick service restaurant franchisees help franchisor by building new computer software.
Helping Out the Boss
Every franchisee has the opportunity to bring specialized business savvy to its quick-service units, but it’s rare that a single operator affects the entire system. That’s exactly what Pennsylvania-based Colleen and Bret Wagner did when they introduced their proprietary software system to the...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...
Fast food kitchens must protect restaurants against food borne illness.
How to Improve Your Food Safety
Stories surrounding food-borne illness outbreaks in national quick-service restaurant chains have become very common, with many national brands having suffered at least one major food-borne illness outbreak. Whether the cause of the outbreak is due to contaminated food or unclean surfaces, food...