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...
Regional barbecue menu options give customers flavors of the community.
Menu Innovations
A great way to start an argument is to talk about America’s best barbecue. It’s a dispute that won’t be resolved. “A lot depends on where you were raised, because you get an emotional allegiance to one particular type of barbecue,” says Peter Reinhart, chef on assignment in the College of Culinary...
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...
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 operators can survey equipment options at NAFEM Show.
2015 NAFEM Show Preview
THE Q&A We spoke with officials at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers about what attendees can expect from this year’s event. What is the purpose of the NAFEM Show? The NAFEM Show features foodservice equipment and supplies from 500-plus manufacturers. At the show,...
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 pizza restaurants roll out mobile apps and ordering tools.
Order’s Up
More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff...
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...