Quick serve brands like Smoothie King invest in franchisees and employees.
Human Resources
At some point, most customers have the unpleasant experience of walking into a quick serve, ordering food, and getting a less-than-warm greeting from an employee who seems disconnected from his work and guests. These diners may think the attitude is entirely the employee’s fault, but it may stem...
Brands like Einstein Bros. ready to join the quick service restaurant elite.
QSR 50
51Einstein Bros. Bagelsrank last year: 47With domestic sales down by about $12 million, Einstein Bros. Bagels fell out of the QSR 50 and tops the Contenders list for 2012. The brand has redesigned its options for value-conscious customers, including the new $3.99 Everyday Value Offers. With an...
Restaurants like London's Burger & Lobster perfect simplified business model.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
Restaurant models are generally imperfect. Ninety-nine percent of the time there are clear negatives to every model. As an example, let’s talk about the traditional model for a coffee business. The percentage margins are high and the staffing costs are low—two great indicators for success—but in...
Tourists and travelers flock to quick service restaurants like Teddy's in Hawaii
Industry News
Tourists in the U.S. are spending more at restaurants than ever before, good news for quick-serve operators as summer vacationing enters its home stretch. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported this year that tourism spending at restaurants in the U.S. is at an all-time high, with 15...
Encouraging healthy behaviors can cut down on an employer's health-care costs.
Outside Insights
Three years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called the ACA) became law, “many employers still don’t grasp its basic elements,” according to a recent BusinessWeek article. Despite the recent one-year delay in enforcement of the employer mandate penalty, small and mid-...
Jersey Mike's uses East Coast authenticity to build its premium sandwich brand.
QSR 50
At Jersey Mike’s Subs, it’s the little things that make a big difference. The real red wine vinegar used on sandwiches. The freshly sliced meats and cheeses. The store-baked bread and the made-to-order cheesesteaks on the grill. Jersey Mike’s leaders say those small touches are what set it apart...
Bountiful Eatery in Chicago offers gluten free menu in fast casual environment.
Competition
After holding various positions in the Darden enterprise and managing a Chicago-area Panera Bread, Ed O’Brien tired of working for others. Eager to become his own boss, O’Brien opened Bountiful Eatery in July 2012. Sandwiched between an ice cream shop and a pizza parlor, the Chicago-based...
Whataburger's burgers and fries menu inspires passionate consumers in South.
QSR 50
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, down the block from a McDonald’s and around the corner from a Jason’s Deli, Whataburger store No. 304 on Peoria Avenue features the same iconic, orange-and-white, A-frame exterior as nearly every other restaurant in the 740-unit Whataburger system. It serves the same quarter-...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...