Quick-serve brands can move beyond yogurt to get creative with dairy products.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
In its most recent Statistical Abstract of the U.S., the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that per-capita consumption of dairy products grew about 7 percent between 1990 and 2009, from roughly 568 to 607 pounds per person per year. That’s a slow and steady rise, though not the sort of eye-popping...
Loyalty-program members can track life goals on Zoës Kitchen's L.I.F.E. app.
Operations
Customers continue to place a premium on value, and several quick-service and fast-casual brands have found that an engaging and effective loyalty program can be one of the best ways to achieve a value position without simply slashing prices. But loyalty programs aren’t a one-and-done process. Not...
Industry News
The Earl of Sandwich, home of “The World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich,” has chosen the Punchh Marketing Automation Platform to engage and reward its loyal customers on mobile devices and acquire new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. The 24-unit chain selected Punchh for its simplicity of...
Veggie Grill uses Smartsheet to smooth the real-estate selection process.
Outside Insights
As a consumer, whenever I see a sign for a restaurant that says “Grand Opening”, I usually think about creative menus, unique specials and promotions, and new customer relationships. While it can be very exciting for patrons, many restaurant owners and managers find opening a new location to be...
Some operators have been slow to incorporate allergy-friendly menu options.
Industry News
Cutting calories, lowering fat content, and providing healthy, fresh ingredients have become increasingly commonplace in the limited-service industry over the past few years. But while U.S. quick serves have embraced the healthy lifestyle movement, some wonder if operators are still overlooking the...
Papa John's offers potential franchisees strong AUV and national brand exposure.
Franchising
It’s back and bigger than ever. Now in its fourth year, our “Best Franchise Deals” report has become the can’t-miss list of top quick-service and fast-casual franchises, assessing factors such as investment-to-sales ratio, marketplace differentiation, corporate support to franchisees, and positive...
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,...
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...
Quick service brands make impact on restaurant industry with big news events.
2014’s Top 9 Stories
It’s fair to say that 2014 has been as eventful a year for quick-service restaurants as the industry has seen in quite a while. Changing demographics and sharper competition have sparked a variety of innovations, but also exposed some weaknesses. And the unrelenting march of technology is changing...
Ideas and insights from 17 years of top quick service industry publication QSR magazine.
200 Ideas for 200 Issues
The quick-service restaurant industry is always changing, and for 17 years and 200 issues, QSR has been there to write it into the history books. As the leading source of news and information for the industry, we’ve watched trends come and go, brands rise to prominence while others fade away, and...
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...
Quick service brands innovate soda beverage menus to differentiate product mix.
Putting Some Pop in Soda
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...
The top quick service restaurant brands from year 2014 served new menu items, technology, innovation.
2014’s Top Brand Stories
It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of...
Quick service restaurant icon KFC is improving menu options while focusing on consistency.
All Access: KFC
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...