Quick serve brands like Edible Arrangements help veterans in life after military
Charitable Giving
It's a sad reality that many find difficult to accept: A shocking number of U.S. veterans are struggling to find a job and, even worse, are often left homeless. A report from the U.S. Veterans Administration shows the number of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who end up homeless...
Career sponsors provide women leadership opportunities in restaurant industry.
Women in Foodservice
Many women who reach the upper ranks of foodservice leadership owe much of their progress to supporters who have advocated for them over the years. And as more women strive to advance in the industry, they’re finding that these supporters—what the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) calls sponsors—and...
Quick-serve brands can move beyond yogurt to get creative with dairy products.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
In its most recent Statistical Abstract of the U.S., the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that per-capita consumption of dairy products grew about 7 percent between 1990 and 2009, from roughly 568 to 607 pounds per person per year. That’s a slow and steady rise, though not the sort of eye-popping...
Loyalty-program members can track life goals on Zoës Kitchen's L.I.F.E. app.
Operations
Customers continue to place a premium on value, and several quick-service and fast-casual brands have found that an engaging and effective loyalty program can be one of the best ways to achieve a value position without simply slashing prices. But loyalty programs aren’t a one-and-done process. Not...
Industry News
The Earl of Sandwich, home of “The World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich,” has chosen the Punchh Marketing Automation Platform to engage and reward its loyal customers on mobile devices and acquire new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. The 24-unit chain selected Punchh for its simplicity of...
Veggie Grill uses Smartsheet to smooth the real-estate selection process.
Outside Insights
As a consumer, whenever I see a sign for a restaurant that says “Grand Opening”, I usually think about creative menus, unique specials and promotions, and new customer relationships. While it can be very exciting for patrons, many restaurant owners and managers find opening a new location to be...
Some operators have been slow to incorporate allergy-friendly menu options.
Industry News
Cutting calories, lowering fat content, and providing healthy, fresh ingredients have become increasingly commonplace in the limited-service industry over the past few years. But while U.S. quick serves have embraced the healthy lifestyle movement, some wonder if operators are still overlooking the...
Papa John's offers potential franchisees strong AUV and national brand exposure.
Franchising
It’s back and bigger than ever. Now in its fourth year, our “Best Franchise Deals” report has become the can’t-miss list of top quick-service and fast-casual franchises, assessing factors such as investment-to-sales ratio, marketplace differentiation, corporate support to franchisees, and positive...
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...
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...
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...
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...