Industry News
Though breakfast is nothing new for Chick-fil-A—the chicken chain introduced the daypart nearly 30 years ago—major success in the breakfast daypart has largely been limited to the markets that public relations manager Mark Baldwin calls the “biscuit belt.” “Here in the biscuit belt, people know...
Industry News
Wahlburgers, the U.S.-based burger concept launched by executive chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers Mark and Donnie will announce the next step in a North American expansion with the debut of its first Canadian location at Toronto’s SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. Wahlburgers Canada is a collaboration of the...
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Fast food restaurant employees across the country are protesting wages.
Human Resources
Employee wages have perhaps never been as much of a hot-button issue in the quick-service industry as they are today. Labor unions are trying to organize workers to fight for better wages, and fast-food employees have been striking in several cities across the U.S. this year. While different...
Ethnic and pizza restaurants offer customizable menus to quick serve customers.
Menu Innovations
Although most restaurants will change ingredients in an entrée to meet a guest’s request, a growing number of pizza and ethnic eateries are letting diners build their own menu items from scratch. “It’s a system that delicatessens and street-food vendors worldwide have used for years. For many...
Dessert quick serve brand Sub Zero makes ice cream in front of customer.
Emerging Concepts
Sub Zero Ice Cream serves up theater, science, and frozen desserts, bowl by individual bowl. Each Sub Zero customer selects one of six bases, which include higher-fat premium, custard, or classic, as well as healthier options: low-fat, yogurt, or lactose-free rice and soymilk. Next, the customer...
Taco Bell sponsored a film focused on popular rock band Passion Pit.
Industry News
Today’s young adults and teenagers—Millennials and Gen Z—are a coveted consumer demographic in quick service and are driving industry trends. Reaching these consumers, however, is an evolving process, especially since some experts believe traditional media and Facebook use are on the decline among...
Moe's Southwest Grill uses network of mom blogs to build family customers.
Women in Foodservice
Legions of moms are blogging—4 million of them in the U.S. alone, says Wendy Hirschhorn, CEO of New York City–based Wendy’s Bloggers, an organization that connects marketers with bloggers. But even though these bloggers wield significant influence with other moms, quick serves have not yet used the...
Quick serve brands are using social video tools like Vine to build business.
Social Media
Imagine a marketing campaign that’s created in five days and launched with minimal cost, a campaign that generates buzz and leads to an increase in sales. Too good to be true? Not at all; it’s marketing on Vine. A&W Restaurants launched its Mini Polar Swirls in April through Vine, a social...
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 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...
Fast food restaurant companies innovate supply around farm drought conditions.
At Mother Nature’s Mercy
Kevin Kester’s family has been farming in the U.S. for generations. And it’s not just a couple of generations they’ve been farming; more like generations upon generations, way back to the 1600s, specifically in California since the 1860s. Today, Kester owns a 22,000-acre beef cattle ranch in...
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...
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...
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...