Industry News
Despite the crowded pizza category, Toppers Pizza is taking its share of the more than $40 billion pie. System-wide sales increased by more than 40 percent for both company-owned and franchised units in the first quarter of 2013, and same-store sales for company units were up 13.59 percent in the...
Fast food brands are using customer suggestions to develop new products.
Operations
There’s no way around the truth that social media is now a critical tool for limited-service restaurant brands. It plays an influential role in marketing and building brand identity, and allows concepts to reach out to and interact with fans and followers to build deeper relationships. But using...
Industry News
The fans spoke, and California Tortilla listened. Street Tacos edged out the competition to win March’s Elito 8 Tournament; now they’re available at California Tortilla locations nationwide starting Monday, May 20. For a limited time only, customers can get all the flavors of the city streets...
Industry News
Perkins & Marie Callender’s recognized its Franchisee of the Year, Dan Esmond, owner/operator of four Perkins Restaurants & Bakeries in Lawrence, Topeka, Great Bend, and McPherson, Kansas. Hailed by Perkins & Marie Callender’s president and CEO Jeff Warne as the “franchisee who best...
Industry News
Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q (SCNB) recently shipped care packages with official SCNB T-shirts and all of the ingredients needed to prepare its eastern North Carolina–style chicken, barbecue, and other southern staples to U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan.   Although the brand knew its...
Fine dining brand Shula's opened fast casual sister restaurant Shula Burger.
Competition
On Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s 17th Street, tucked in the shadow of giants Chipotle and Panera Bread, an upstart burger joint dreams of someday entering the same upper ranks of the fast-casual world that those two brands helped create. Though the restaurant carries a familiar name, its vibe is...
Restaurants are experimenting with a ticket based seating system to up demand.
Alan Philips: Trends to Watch
A couple of years ago, I embarked on a journey into the world of pop-up restaurants. After almost a decade of consulting, I decided it was time to take on a project that was a pure representation of my passions: food, wine, and creating unique hospitality experiences. Not to be held up by things...
Burger King's new coffee beverages position the brand to compete with McDonalds.
Menu Innovations
Forget quick-serve mainstays like burgers and fries. These days, limited-service brands are looking to coffee to beef up business, and Burger King is the latest chain to get in on the action. Burger King’s customers can now enjoy 10 new specialty drinks, including iced coffees in a variety of...
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 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...
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 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 operators develop innovative potato dishes as menu options.
Sensational Spuds
Consider the spud. Sure, it’s often thought of as a simple, standard restaurant staple—and in the quick-service field often relegated to the side of the plate or presented in fried format—but it also can be the subject of inspiration and kitchen creativity. Potatoes are also a cost-effective...