The rise in pork consumption presents quick-serve operators room to innovate.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
Slowly, quietly, and without a great deal of fanfare, pork has staged a kind of revolution on U.S. plates. Between 1990 and 2013, Americans’ pork consumption increased about 18 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That jump seems particularly noteworthy when compared with beef...
The annual NRA show gives quick service and fast casual operators helpful advice
Industry News
Saturday, May 17 Sunday, May 18 Monday, May 19 Tuesday, May 20 The Chicago Scene Food News Media at the Show   The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) annual Show is one of the restaurant industry’s must-attend events. With thousands of company booths to explore, educational sessions...
Quick service breakfast competition competes for restaurant super fans.
Outside Insights
Competition in the quick-service industry is heating up after Taco Bell rolled out hard-hitting advertising for its new breakfast menu with jabs at McDonald’s that suggest the quick-service leader is not keeping up with the times. McDonald’s, meanwhile, is grappling with recent quarterly results...
Fast food chicken restaurant in Chicago borrows dining experience from club.
Industry News
Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are not your typical restaurateurs, and that's just the way they like it. Call them alternative or off the cuff, the close friends and business partners are growing a foodservice brand built around a relational dining experience. Cikowski and Kulp met in culinary...
Florida based fast casual Burger 21 serves high quality menu in upscale setting.
Emerging Concepts
Despite the research and years of experience that went into creating Burger 21, the concept’s president has been surprised by one aspect of the business: the brand’s broad consumer appeal. “The amazing thing we didn’t predict was so many parties coming in with three generations,” says Mark Johnston...
Florida quick serve Huahua's Taqueria serves Mexican fare in outdoor setting.
Emerging Concepts
Opened in July 2013 by Miami restaurateurs Michael Boles and Niloy Thakkar, Huahua’s elevates the taco’s presence in South Beach. The concept pairs traditional Mexican favorites with avant-garde offerings crafted by Culinary Institute of America–trained chef Todd Erickson. With just three seats in...
Tropical Smoothie Café's CEO shares how he built a lifestyle brand.
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I worked at Baskin-Robbins all through high school and all through college, and really got into management. I did everything for the franchisee when I was in college—I ordered product, I hired, I fired, I did payroll. So it really got me into the business and hospitality. I thought it was a lot of...
Fast food brands scale food safety efforts up as they grow across the country.
Food Safety
It could happen to any restaurant. Business is strong, with sales and unit counts growing quickly. Optimism abounds for a healthy future. And then it happens. Contaminated food supplies filter into the system. Hundreds of customers get sick. Traffic and sales plunge as consumers worry over the food...
Fast food kitchens must protect restaurants against food borne illness.
How to Improve Your Food Safety
Stories surrounding food-borne illness outbreaks in national quick-service restaurant chains have become very common, with many national brands having suffered at least one major food-borne illness outbreak. Whether the cause of the outbreak is due to contaminated food or unclean surfaces, food...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Fast food brands like Zingermans build growth strategy around quality.
The Mighty Indies
For every limited-service chain pushing for growth and expansion across the U.S., there’s a crop of independent single-unit brands forgoing the traditional growth strategy to focus on excellence at the community level. Operators at these restaurants wear many hats, often performing the tasks of an...
Quick service concepts like Rise in North Carolina are accepting bitcoin money.
Are Bitcoins Legit?
Despite controversies surrounding the virtual currency bitcoin, a growing number of quick-serve restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and bars are allowing their customers to pay for their food and beverages via the digital currency. Bitcoins are a currency that is transferred directly between buyer...
Auntie Anne’s invests in tomorrow’s talent.
Promise for the Future
Forget the age-old stereotype of teens being more interested in schlep than success. Auntie Anne’s corporate executives and franchise partners have seen first-hand that there is promising business potential in today’s high-school students. Fifty teens at the brand’s Leaders & Entrepreneurs...
QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Where Are They Now?
Each month, QSR singles out the quick-service and fast-casual brands we think will make a splash in the industry. Sometimes we’re right, and sometimes we’re… well, not. So which Ones to Watch brands are still on fire, and which ones have had their growth hopes doused? Here’s a look back at 15 Ones...
Quick service brand serves all vegan food to health conscious customers.
Ones To Watch: Native Foods Café
The owners of the vegan fast-casual concept Native Foods Café decided if they could make it in Chicago—home of cheesy deep-dish pizza and Vienna beef hot dogs—they could make it anywhere. Founded in Palm Springs, California, by a vegan chef in 1994, Native Foods Café grew into a four-store chain...
Modern restaurants capitalize on traditional approaches.
Old School Meets New
Call it a reflection of consumers’ growing desire for local fare or their increasing demand for cleaner food with minimal processing and fewer ingredients. But one thing is for sure in foodservice today: What’s old is most decidedly new again. Both brands and customers are returning to an old-...
Getting a Head Start
This year has been projected as a growth year for the restaurant industry, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs who dream of opening their own restaurant. Forty-seven percent of Americans’ food dollars are spent dining away from home, and restaurant sales are expected to hit a record high this...