Consumers looking over menuboards at their favorite quick-serve restaurants are going to notice some changes in 2015, as the calorie-labeling mandate that was created in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November. The rule requires all chain restaurants with more than 20 units to add calorie counts to menus by the end of this year.
There was a time when chains feared that offering their food in supermarkets would keep consumers away from the restaurants. But that archaic notion has gone by the wayside as quick-service brands are increasingly finding a great deal of success offering some of their products at retail.
As the only daypart with marked growth in the limited-service industry, the breakfast business is hot. It seems that every week brings more news of morning daypart expansion from this or that brand.
Faced with this increased competition, those brands already built around coffee, bagels, doughnuts, and other breakfast goods have had to diversify their menus to get a larger share out of lunch. And industry experts believe that, even among breakfast-focused brands, the future of quick service rests in a successful balance of all-day dining options.
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 time and money in training a new crop of workers.
Reducing this sort of seasonal turnover is a struggle, but engaging temporary employees and offering the right kind of workplace incentives can keep them coming back year after year, human resources experts say.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. But it can also tempt the appetites of millions of hungry customers, which is why quick-serve restaurants spend a great deal of time, money, and effort to ensure their menuboards and promotional materials have images that resonate with their customers.
When it comes to choosing photos to represent a brand on a menuboard, one of the most important elements is to have pictures that display the food’s authenticity, experts say.
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], you’re going to be at a competitive disadvantage,” says Dylan Bolden, a partner with BCG and co-author of the report.
A new report by The NPD Group, which provides global foodservice market research, shows a 7 percent increase in foodservice visits in Russia over the last quarter of 2013, making it No. 1 in traffic growth among nations NPD tracks.
That’s a relief to American quick-service operators, who are headed to the country in large numbers despite a political environment that has grown tense in the last several months.
Commuters in the Boston area were treated to a friendly surprise earlier this year when McDonald’s workers stationed in a Boston subway station handed out free cups of coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwiches.
The giveaway, which was filmed, was part of a new localized campaign by McDonald’s franchisees in the New England area. Called the “Good Morning Campaign,” the giveaway provided footage for TV ads running in the market. More ad spots featuring giveaways in other locations across New England will run in the coming months.
In an effort to make its food more accessible for customers, Mama Fu’s Asian House is rolling out a new prototype focusing exclusively on takeout, delivery, and catering.
Randy Murphy, CEO of Mama Fu’s Asian House, says the difficulty in finding the perfect 3,000-square-foot retail box or end cap with high visibility is slowing down expansion.
Quick-service CEOs love seeing their company climb to the top of the industry heap. But some leaders also like a good challenge and choose to walk away from successful brands for a new opportunity.
Making the switch can affect both companies involved, as well as the executive’s financial security. But some leaders have figured out a way to make sure all parties involved benefit from such changes.