Rich Hicks has reached the height of success in the restaurant industry, with his quick-service concepts being heralded with accolades and catapulting him into the spot of a top-ranked entrepreneur. And like so many other leaders in the business, his career began at the bottom, working as a dishwasher.
More than two decades ago, Pizza Hut sold its first pizza online—reportedly the first thing ever sold on the Internet. Ever since, the nation’s pizza chains have been leading the way in online sales innovation. And this year, that innovation is expected to continue as pizza brands fight off a stiff competitive field.
Ah, chocolate. It’s an indulgence that’s impossible to ignore as a stand-alone food or ingredient. And, not surprisingly, chocolate proves to be sweet for consumers and restaurant operators alike. Even though it’s already part of menus at most limited-service eateries, more dining places continue to add chocolate items in new and innovative ways.
The father-son team of 57-year-old Jon S. Crowe and 28-year-old Jon P. Crowe shines at their two Toppers Pizza units in Nebraska. The pair opened a store in Lincoln in February 2012 and one in Omaha this past June. By next summer, they plan to add another new location in each city. The duo’s business savvy garnered them the Franchisee of the Year award from Toppers for 2014, as well as another six-unit franchise agreement.
Grab-and-go items, once a staple of nontraditional spaces like college campuses and airports, have gone mainstream.
Today, operations ranging from convenience stores to standalone quick-service restaurants are adding prepackaged items like fresh carrots with ranch dip, pre-made chicken wraps, or yogurt parfaits. And they’re doing so for a good reason: Every day, 28 million Americans eat a grab-and-go snack, according to data from consumer market research firm The NPD Group.
When it comes to developing a quick-service concept, Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison understands that the economic model remains a large piece of the puzzle. In creating a strong franchise deal that fosters company growth, however, Morrison and many other quick-service leaders know that many other tiles complete the mosaic, including corporate support, marketplace differentiation, and sales momentum.
I was taught by good people that you can capture magic if you’ve got a wonderful place that attracts really good people who believe in what you do. The thing that really gets me is there are about 1,300 Toppers team members out there today, and by and large, those people are highly engaged and believe that we’re building something special; they’re very passionate about what we’re doing.
Toppers Pizza is demonstrating its “irrational love of pizza” with three new house pizzas, which it launched November 4: Three Little Pigs, the Loaded Tot-zza, and El Cubano.
Scott Iversen, vice president of marketing for Toppers, says the brand's creativity and willingness to think outside the box will help drive the new pizzas.
Toppers Pizza, a 50-unit franchise pizza delivery brand, announced a menu makeover. The adjustments to the menu, which will officially launch on November 4, will roll out more of the customizable options for which Toppers has become known, like pizzas with tater tots, pulled pork, diced dill pickles, or French fried onions, in addition to it Mac ‘N Cheese Topper and Taco Topper.
Fall hunger-relief initiatives like September’s Hunger Action Month and last week’s World Food Day from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) have spurred quick serves into action to thwart the global hunger problem.
Taco Bell raised a record $3 million through its World Hunger Relief promotion, which ran September 26 through October 17. Customers were offered an opportunity to donate $1 to the WFP, which reaches more than 97 million people in 80 countries.