With young demographics demanding premium fast food options, Starbucks adds new concept.
Industry News
Coffee isn’t just a convenient caffeine jolt for Americans anymore. A recent Harris Interactive survey found that consumers are willing to travel for a good cup of Joe; 60 percent of respondents said the primary coffee shop they visit is not necessarily the closest one. Sixty-six percent of...
Quick service restaurant trends to change industry in 2015 include Asian cuisine flavors.
Industry News
Every time a new year gets under way, there’s a combination of promise and anxiety, a very real hope that better days are ahead mixed with uneasiness about what issues or problems may be lying in wait. That’s why predictions seem to be as much a part of a New Year’s celebration as champagne and the...
Though McDonalds has long ruled fast food, Chipotle is now the chief industry influence.
Fast Casual
McDonald’s has long served as a de facto leader of the limited-service restaurant space. Far and away the largest quick-service company in the U.S. by system-wide sales, the Golden Arches has for generations been the model for fast-food stability and achievement, the benchmark against which all...
Industry News
1. 8 Fast Food Trends for ’14 There is always excitement at the beginning of a new year, with renewed hopes of health, wealth, and happiness. It’s no different in the limited-service industry, where a year ago, brands were studying up on potential trends to ensure a prosperous 2014. These eight...
Quick service brands innovate soda beverage menus to differentiate product mix.
Menu Innovations
Soda sales aren’t exactly bubbling at restaurants these days. In fact, they’ve been declining for years. Despite that, there’s fizz remaining in carbonated beverages as operators look toward craft sodas, new technology, homemade beverages, and creative concoctions to put effervescence into their...
Quick service restaurant icon KFC is improving menu options while focusing on consistency.
Industry News
Images of the late Col. Harlan Sanders are everywhere as you walk through the Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters of KFC and its parent, Yum! Brands. Not only are there plenty of photos and videos of the company founder and creator of the world’s most popular fried chicken recipe, but there are also...
Quick service restaurant brands hire and train employees to offer great customer service.
In the Store
It’s mid-September and Thom Crosby is on the road again. Every six months, Crosby, the CEO of Pal’s Sudden Service, a 26-unit chain with stores across Tennessee and Virginia, joins Pal’s founder Fred Barger for a road trip. The pair visit all 26 stores, leading quality and system audits at each...
Quick service operators offer alcoholic beverages to eliminate customer veto vote.
Menu Innovations
When news that more quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants were experimenting with alcohol beverage service emerged in the last decade, many operators and experts followed it with a skepticism chaser. Analysts warned that costly liquor licensing, regulatory details, and staffing issues were just a...
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...
More Wall Street investors look to buy stock in fast casual and quick service concepts.
The Push for Public
When fast-casual chain Zoës Kitchen Inc. debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last April, the Plano, Texas–based Mediterranean-style eatery recorded its initial public offering at $87.5 million. Satisfying an investor appetite for investments within the trendy fast-casual space, Zoës’ strong...
Quick service restaurants relaunch to build franchising program.
Franchise Fixes
Companies have good reasons for acquiring franchise brands. Often they see potential in a brand and hope to use their own resources to build it into a national contender. Many brands, though, need a healthy dose of TLC after acquisition. And some companies have found that a good rebranding can...
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...
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...