Cupcake shop Yummy Cupcakes uses gourmet ingredients in unique recipes.
Emerging Concepts
When Tiffini Soforenko first told her husband, Nik, that she wanted to open a cupcake bakery, his response was, “You don’t bake.” But Soforenko, who worked as director of operations at Universal Studios Hollywood for more than 15 years, says she knew how to bake, she just didn’t have the time. That...
Industry News
Dunkin’ Donuts turned to fans on social media for its latest venture in culinary innovation. Inspired by its partnership with Bravo’s "Top Chef," the coffee and doughnut brand set out to hold its own quick-fire challenge through a Google+ Hangout, using recipes submitted through Facebook, Twitter,...
Fast food restaurants train employees to act swiftly with customer emergencies.
In the Store
Disaster can strike at any moment. That includes medical emergencies within a restaurant, something more quick-service operators are preparing their employees to deal with so customers can be protected when unexpected medical issues arise. Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina is one brand that has committed...
Fast food executives switch jobs as way to use their talent to build new brands.
Executive Insights
Quick-service CEOs love seeing their company climb to the top of the industry heap. But some leaders also like a good challenge and choose to walk away from successful brands for a new opportunity. Making the switch can affect both companies involved, as well as the executive’s financial security....
Industry News
Buffalo Wings & Rings may be a casual-dining restaurant with table service, but it’s learned a thing or two from quick service that it is now leveraging to build sales and customer loyalty. The brand’s quick-service kitchen setup allows Buffalo Wings & Rings to churn out saucy wings in a...
McDonald's is the largest fast food company but is struggling to grow in 2013.
Competition
The last decade in quick service was a transformative one. Fast-casual restaurants moved from novel ideas in urban markets to competitive powerhouses with seemingly no ceiling. Health and nutrition became critical filters through which brands vetted their new menu items. And the Great Recession...
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...
Quick service operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...
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 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 and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 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...
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...