Special Report | August 2011 | By Sam Oches
The 2011 QSR 50
Taking the biggest unit tumble of 2010, Quiznos’ net store count dropped by a whopping 600 units from 2009. The sandwich concept did work to encourage sustainability through its packaging and suppliers, and even jumped on the smaller-portion bandwagon with a Choose 2 menu that let customers choose two items among Quiznos’ Toasty Bullets, flatbread Sammies, soups, and salads for $5.
The top Asian concept’s popular talking pandas, Eddie and Tom-Tom, returned to talk up Panda Express’ first-ever premium shrimp entrée. Then a Korean-influenced dish, Kobari Beef, hit the menuboards in September. Panda Express also tested online ordering in select stores with its Order Panda program.
Carl’s Jr. has always aimed for the “young, hungry male” and in 2010 added two new burgers aimed squarely at that demographic: the Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger and the Philly Cheesesteak Burger. Still, a Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, and Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Salad spoke to customers looking for something lighter, and this year’s addition of a Turkey Burger really wowed the health-conscious.
Did we mention there was also a marketing campaign featuring Kim Kardashian?
Little Caesars is clawing its way back into the upper pizza echelon and proving that not all Detroit-based companies are doomed. Once the third-biggest pizza chain, Little Caesars has used its value offering of the $5 Hot-N-Ready pizza to hold firm at No. 24 and, in 2010, added 152 new stores. A continued investment in its new college football bowl game, meanwhile, hopes to lure sports fanatics.
A Texas mainstay since 1950, Whataburger celebrated its 60th year in 2010 with new chicken menu items like the Grilled Chicken Melt and the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich, plus a contest to find the company’s biggest fans. Stoking the passion of its consumer base may be key to keeping up Whataburger’s growth, since the In-N-Out juggernaut is moving into Dallas and “better-burger” newbie Mooyah Burgers is homegrown in Texas.
Food & Beverage
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