The top quick service and fast casual restaurant brands in the United States.
Industry News
Read the Profiles Browse the Big Chart See QSR 50 Charts 2004-2012 Segments Burger Sandwich Snack Mexican Pizza/Pasta Chicken Asian Seafood 1 McDonald’s rank last year: 1 And the No. 1 brand in the 2013 QSR 50 is … Subway! Just kidding. It’s McDonald’s. And unless McDonald’s maybe-we-...
Salata specializes in premium salad and dressings menu options at its restaurant
Emerging Concepts
In 2003, Berge Simonian noticed something interesting happening in the restaurant he had operated for almost a decade in downtown Houston. The line for salads was frequently longer than the line for hot foods. With that in mind, Simonian and his business partner, Tony Kyoumjian, began working on...
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 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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...