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...
Premium quick service restaurant chain dishes out upscale and local foods.
Ones To Watch: Modmarket
In 2008, Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan were two young professionals looking for a place to have a healthy lunch on a regular basis. When they couldn’t find one, the pair decided to create one. They pooled their knowledge to create Modmarket. “We felt very strongly that there needed to be...
Quick service concepts with breakfast focus offer more menu items for lunch day part.
Taking a Bite Out of Lunch
As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand. Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts,...
Quick service operators can make money through market based pricing strategies.
The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 3
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry. Click here to read part one, and here to read part two. Hello again QSR readers! Before we dig into another alternative pricing strategy, we want to take a moment to look back at where...
Quick service restaurant executives could take notes from transportation startup Uber.
How to Be the Uber of Fast Food
Q: Many fast-food restaurants are beefing up their mobile capabilities. What is the best way to tap into this trend? A: Getting in on the mobile ordering—or mobile payment or mobile marketing—trend shouldn’t be our objective. Instead, we should ask, “How can we use mobile technology to disrupt our...
Quick serve chicken chain rolls out coffee that benefits bean growers.
Morning Jolt
Chick-fil-A joined the breakfast innovation bandwagon with a renewed commitment to offering better coffee. And the chicken chain took the initiative one step further by partnering with a network of specialty coffee farmers in Central America known as THRIVE. The handpicked, proprietary coffee blend...
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...
Fast food restaurant in Austin holds city wide 5k race to raise funds for charity.
Hot to Trot
While families around the U.S. gather this year for Thanksgiving Day dinner, a casual game of touch football, and the annual parade, some Austin, Texas, residents will sport their running gear for the annual ThunderCloud Subs Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Since its inception in 1991, the 5K...