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-...
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...
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...
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 and fast casual brands adapt to menu labeling regulations.
Putting It All Out There
Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in...
Quick service restaurant chains invest in new growth with new finance and franchise strategies.
A Finance Refresh
Like much of the rest of the economy, the 2008 economic meltdown brought a massive slow-down to the quick-service franchise industry. The combination of tightfisted money lenders and general economic uncertainty put franchise businesses in a near impossible position when it came to accessing...
Quick service restaurant giant Taco Bell innovates breakfast menu with biscuit taco.
Taco Bell Is At It Again
Brian Niccol is a man on a mission. In the nearly two years since Niccol was tabbed as Taco Bell’s president, and in the three months since he became chief executive, the Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant chain has been an innovation engine for its parent company, Yum! Brands. Last year...