Acquiring new restaurant technology can be a tricky business. Because of ever-decreasing prices, an operator may not want to be the first to buy a new application or software system. Plus, no one wants to invest in untested equipment, regardless of its technological prowess.
Evolving eating habits and generational dynamics are changing the way we look at snacking. There’s no traditional time when Americans are looking for snacks—say, the middle of the afternoon. It’s the late morning, early evening, and late night, too. It’s as if there are as many dayparts for snacking as there are for full meals, if not more.
Quick-serve chains across the country are rolling out Valentine’s Day promotions to attract customers for the special day and, in some cases, the entire month of February.
Recent technology enhancements by White Castle and McDonald’s show that even traditional quick-service burger chains are considering letting patrons customize their orders.
Last month, White Castle added two touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in its hometown of Columbus, Ohio. It is the only restaurant in the family-owned, 406-unit chain to feature the kiosks, which are part of a pilot project. The large screens allow customers to order their burgers exactly as they like them in the privacy of the kiosk area, says White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson.
Despite their name, french fries are as American as the 4th of July and are a mainstay in the quick-service universe. Fries are the most popular side item at U.S. limited-service eateries, outpacing others by a wide margin, according to various menu-monitoring reports.
But other fried sides are now showing more growth potential than french fries. As consumers look to experience new flavors and seek a healthy halo from vegetable consumption, restaurateurs are providing more fried-side options.
When it comes to business, everyone wants to be in the middle of the action, which is why quick-serve brands like Shake Shack, Fatburger, and McDonald's establish their corporate headquarters in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, respectively.
Innovation has always been an integral part of White Castle, fast-food hamburger chain. As a tribute to the Slider's iconic place in pop culture and to channel the creative energy of Cravers everywhere, White Castle is announcing the call for entries for the 2013 Crave Time Cook-Off. White Castle challenges devoted fans to buy a sack of 10 Sliders and create a unique recipe.
Small portions are very big these days.
Many 2013 trend predictions determined that small plates and snacking are expected to be popular among chefs and restaurant operators this year. While diners are still eating during the traditional meal times—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—they are eating less at those times, opting instead to have five or more smaller meals a day.
Editor’s Note: A state Supreme Court judge in Manhattan invalidated the sugary beverage ban after this article was originally published. Mayor Bloomberg has stated that he intends to fight the ruling.
CKE, parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., doesn’t have any stores in New York City. In fact, it doesn’t have any in the Empire State at all.
Wine connoisseurs for years looked down their noses at beer, considering the latter, better-selling beverage as a drink of the “common man.”
That view is slowly evolving, however, as an increasing number of Americans become fans of the many craft beers being brewed all across the country. And it’s an evolution that’s starting to impact quick-service restaurants, too.