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...
Industry News
Caffeine-packed energy drinks may get their fair share of flak, but today’s on-the-go consumers continue to seek a quick and tasty pick-me-up. And with its new Pure Recharge Smoothie, beverage brand Smoothie King thinks it has the solution—without all of the artificial ingredients common in many...
Wendy's new pretzel bacon cheeseburger is a successful fast food menu option.
Industry News
One of the most common questions in foodservice—White or wheat?—has grown to include a new option: pretzel. Quick-service restaurants across the country are capitalizing on a new pretzel-bread trend, taking one of the most popular summer snacks and working it into innovative new menu options. “...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...