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...
Mexican fast casual Chipotle is launching a catering service to grow business.
Industry News
Chipotle is tapping into new consumer occasions with the recent national rollout of its catering program. The added operation allows the brand to compete in a different space with fast-casual concepts like Panera and Qdoba Mexican Grill that have established catering options. Chipotle tested...
Fast food restaurants leveraged food and marketing initiatives to grow in 2013.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
My year-end top brand stories recap was well received last year, and I decided to do it again. I’ll break from my usual Q&A format to recap this year’s most important brand developments in fast food. Taco Bell. Taco Bell continued to ride the wave it created last year with Doritos Locos Tacos...
Fast casual Toast Cafe focuses on brunch daypart to build business.
Fast Casual
When co-owners Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill launched Toast Café in 2005, they set out to create a concept that offers a better breakfast dining experience. In only a few short years, Toast Café grew to three locations in North Carolina, and the owners are now ready to ramp up growth with plans...
Fast food companies like Red Mango work to constantly update their online sites.
Promotions
Dan Kim, founder and chief concept officer of frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, spearheaded a relaunch of his company’s website two years ago. The site was refreshingly simple and easy to use. Even still, Red Mango is in the midst of another website overhaul. “We’re going to simplify a lot of things...
Top women executives like Cheryl Bachelder are changing fast food for the better
Women in Foodservice
The women of foodservice are a savvy, confident, and—perhaps most importantly—growing group. They’ve fought their way to the top, led entire brands at young ages, chaired restaurant associations and organizations, and in some cases been the first female executive at their organization. Though the...
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....
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,...
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 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...