Quick serves that create a unique restaurant branding build customer loyalty.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to hop into Doc Brown’s Time Machine and head back to good-old 1955. What I mean by this is that I visited one of New York’s hottest new restaurants, Carbone. Created by chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone of the widely acclaimed Torrisi Italian Specialties,...
Direct and fair trade are the two main ways to source coffee.
Outside Insights
Light and sweet; milk, no sugar. It seems as little as 20 years ago, people cared more about how they took their coffee than where it was from and how it was grown. Now we have choices and people are more informed. But how can we be sure that we’re buying ethically grown and processed coffee that...
Papa Murphy's slowed restaurant expansion due to the down economy in 2008.
Growth
The history books detailing the recent Great Recession will include plenty of obvious chapters: the subprime mortgage crisis, Wall Street bailouts, housing bubbles, and skyrocketing unemployment. But those volumes might miss a less visible element of the economic collapse: the crippling credit...
Grilled cheese sandwiches at Cheeseboy offer innovative take on traditional food
Ingredients & Dayparts
There’s nothing cheesy about fromage. Cheese is one of the most ancient man-made food products, dating back thousands of years. Today, it’s among the most popular ingredients in cuisine, with hundreds of varieties from dozens of countries around the world. “When you talk about a food category,...
McAlister's Deli uses a table tracking system to improve restaurant operations.
In the Store
In an age when, according to Pew Research Center, one in three Americans owns a tablet and most adults use the Internet on their cell phones, it’s no surprise that businesses of all shapes and sizes are bringing in technology to bolster sales. Innovative technologies are nothing new at quick-...
Industry News
Taco Bell made news early this week with CEO Greg Creed’s announcement that the brand would scrap kids’ meals and toys by January 2014—all in the name of kicking up its edgy image and resonating with its target Millennial customers. Though the move isn’t likely to create big waves financially—Creed...
Fast casual Energy Kitchen is one restaurant using the REAL certification.
Industry News
Several quick-service restaurants are doubling down on their health and wellness efforts thanks to the new REAL Certification program from the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC). Established in 2011, the USHFC is a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated...
A Jersey Mike's franchisee used communication and influence to grow top unit.
Franchising
Cathy Brown graduated from college as a mechanical engineer and spent time working with a government contractor to create guidance systems for cruise missiles. At one point she was also a high-school math teacher. She eventually landed in the quick-service industry, and in 2009, Brown was tasked...
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 can use big data to plan strategic growth.
Data: The Most Important Ingredient
Selling food for profit dates back to the evolution of human society itself: from outside eateries in ancient Rome and China to the evolution of fine dining in France to the mushrooming of the fast-food industry, drive thru, and takeaway inns in the last decade. Restaurants have changed along with...
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...
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...
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...