Emily Freeman

Slimmer Items, Hefty Sales

The lower the calorie counts in restaurant menu items, the better for business, according to recent research by public policy research organization Hudson Institute.

The report analyzed 21 of the nation’s largest restaurant chains, including quick-service brands like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. It found that restaurants with more low-calorie servings had better sales growth, larger increases in customer traffic, and stronger gains in total food and beverage servings than chains that offered fewer low-calorie options.

Shopping the Brand

Some brands find the key to quick growth is through partnerships with supermarkets like Whole Foods.

Genji Sushi operates exclusively within Whole Foods Market stores.
Genji Sushi operates exclusively within Whole Foods Market stores, helping the brand grow quickly. Genji Sushi

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Quick-service sushi concepts, from How Do You Roll? to Yo! Sushi, have taken off in the U.S., with Americans’ increasingly adventurous palates driving growth. And Genji Sushi, which first opened its doors in Philadelphia in 1997, is a quiet leader in the category, with 165 units.

But Genji has a trick up its sleeve that’s helped build the brand into such a sushi success: The concept operates exclusively within Whole Foods Market stores.

Cutting Cash Loose

Some operators ditch cash for financial, security reasons.

Tru Deli and Wine in Chapel Hill no longer accepts cash payments.
William Bryant, left, general manager of TRU Deli & Wine, demonstrates the concept's iPad-based payment system.

Paying a tab with dollar bills could soon be a thing of the past, as some quick-service operators are choosing to no longer accept cash for financial and security purposes.

TRU Deli & Wine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is one such operation. The concept, which opened in August, is a deli by day and wine bar by night, but there is a catch: The restaurant only accepts credit and debit cards as a form of payment.

Dwight DeBree, TRU’s owner, says three overriding factors contributed to the decision to not accept cash: simplicity, security, and timing.