Technology
Panera Bread took a step into the future with the rollout of $42 million worth of ordering technology, dubbed “Panera 2.0.” The chain expects to better its customer experience inside and out with iPad ordering kiosks, mobile and online ordering interfaces, and a feature that lets guests order at...
Outside Insights
There’s no question that having a great online reputation gives you the stamp of approval you need, especially when 95 percent of consumers are turning to the Internet to find local businesses. With 132 million average monthly unique visitors turning to Yelp to make a buying decision and 57 million...
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QSR has singled out quick service restaurants like Toppers Pizza as emerging concepts.
Emerging Concepts
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 brands leverage franchise system for strategic growth.
Franchising
For upstart quick-service restaurants considering the move to franchising, the path can precipitate a major shift in business model and operations. Beyond the economic investment in franchising, experts say, operators must ensure their brand will consistently deliver quality across all locations. “...
Quick service restaurants build out historic sites for charming sense of place.
Industry News
Built in 1881, the log cabin housing the Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que location in Breckenridge, Colorado, has seen its fair share of action. “As I understand it, it was the assayer’s cabin for the town,” says John Rediker, a partner at the Breckenridge unit. Precious metals extracted from the mines...
Fast food coffee giant Starbucks gives team members stock in company.
Human Resources
Saving for retirement and other financial milestones is an important objective for most people, including employees in the quick-serve industry. The biggest coffee chain in the U.S. is making it easier for its workers to reach those monetary goals. In 1991, after Seattle-based Starbucks extended...
Mama Fus is one quick service brand that leverages loyalty program data.
Promotions
Consumers increasingly look to cash in on loyalty programs, and a new report from business strategy adviser Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that savvy quick serves can capitalize on a data-collection strategy to ensure loyalty success. “If you are a quick serve and don’t have [a loyalty program...
Quick service restaurants find sales potential in dessert menu options.
Industry News
For many quick-service operators, rolling out a successful dessert platform is a matter of taking a big risk. Dessert isn’t always top of mind for customers who are in and out of a restaurant, while pressure is on for flavors to be innovative but also compliment the menu. The risk involved may be...
Quick service restaurants like Arbys launch charity events to raise money and awareness.
Fighting Hunger, One State at a Time
When Arby’s Hungry for Happiness mobile tour pulls into town, people notice. It’s hard to miss the fire-engine red semi truck and trailer emblazoned with a beaming young girl enchanted by a bite of giant watermelon. But the rolling outfit, on the streets in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No...
Food service operators open mobile carts and trucks to serve menu at events.
Taking This Show on the Road
Forget the rock-hard pretzels and suspicious-looking hot dogs that cart vendors were once known for. Nowadays, the mobile foodservice space is populated by specialty coffee concepts, gourmet popcorn carts, and Korean barbecue on wheels. And business is booming for these operators as they look to...
Fast food brands jump on board pumpking flavor trend with innovative menu items.
Beyond Pumpkin
Pumpkin has long reigned as king of the fall, but this year, limited-service brands are not just adding a pumpkin pastry and calling it a season. Instead, several quick-service and fast-casual concepts introduced non-pumpkin products and innovative spins on the pumpkin flavor, while also launching...
Quick service restaurant brands hire workers by the season to cover busy times.
Always in Season
Running a quick-service restaurant often requires relying on seasonal employees who come from high school or college, or stay-at-home parents who work when school is in session. Many of these employees tend not to stick around for longer than a season, which means operators must constantly invest...
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...
Health and wellness are at center of Washington DC based salad concept Sweetgreen.
Sweetgreen Schools the Future
The classroom isn’t just for learning the A, B, Cs and 1, 2, 3s—more kids these days are also introduced to concepts like nutrition, the environment, and sustainability thanks to a crop of new partnerships between limited-service restaurants and public schools. Fast-casual concept Sweetgreen is one...
Fast food giant Burger King stirred up controversy with purchase of Canada brand Tim Hortons.
Burger King’s Big Move
In a move that shook the fast-food industry earlier this week, Burger King announced its official merger with Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts concept Tim Hortons. The new company, to be headquartered in Canada, will be the third-largest quick-service company in the world, with more than 18,000...