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-...
Marketing to the generation after Millennials will help restaurants succeed.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR’s Marketing Guru
Q: I've been hearing so much about Millennials lately. Do I really need to pay attention? A: Millennials are indeed generating a ton of buzz—and for good reason. Millennial consumers, people now in their 20s and 30s, make up a huge portion of the U.S. population (there are around 80 million of them...
Taquerias Arandas sources high quality beef for fast casual Mexican operation.
In the Store
It’s safe to say many Taquerias Arandas customers have no beef with the Mexican chain’s decision to stick with higher-quality, more expensive beef, even while many brands look to alternative proteins and LTOs as shelter from soaring beef prices. Judy Camarena, president of Arandas Franchises, says...
Cafe Yumm is a Northwest fast casual chain specializing in organic rice bowls.
Emerging Concepts
When Mary Ann Beauchamp ran a little restaurant called Wild Rose Café and Deli in the early 1990s, customers would often give their meal a one-word review. That word eventually worked its way into the name of the concept created by Mary Ann and her husband Mark: Café Yumm! “She always had rice...
Premium soda options like Boylan satisfy Millennial desire for better beverages.
Industry News
Handcrafted. Natural. Artisan. Signature. These foodie buzzwords may have once described decadent pizzas or burgers featuring grass-fed beef, but they’re increasingly featured on the beverage side of quick-serve menus, too. Freshness and originality are becoming increasingly important buying...
Quick service brands turn to sustainable products to build brand message.
In the Store
When customers stroll into Raj Pannu’s Subway store in LaPlace, Louisiana, they’re excited to find the lights react to motion sensors. They love the chairs and tables made from refurbished material, and they’re even impressed by the water-saving toilets. A Subway franchisee for 18 years, Pannu...
Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed is turning the brand into a premium Mexican chain.
QSR 50
One morning this past May, Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed opened up his copy of USA Today and found a quarter-page story about his brand staring back at him. But it wasn’t a piece about the Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla—launched that month—or even the endlessly buzzing Doritos Locos Tacos. Instead, it...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
Burger chain Shake Shack sees phenomenal growth from commitment to product and charity.
Three Lessons in Charitable Giving from Shake Shack
No doubt you’ve heard about Shake Shack’s successful IPO and its $1.7 billion valuation. The burger stand that started in New York’s Madison Square Park and now has locations in places like Moscow, Istanbul, and Dubai has had a very big year. What you may not have heard is the equally big news the...