Fine Print

To encourage mindful eating habits among consumers, a few small chains adopted a new way to display nutrition information on receipts.

Santa Barbara, California–based SmartReceipt allows brands to give customers relevant and personalized messaging about nutrition.

“Because SmartReceipt messaging is targeted based on factors like what items were purchased, time of day, and amount spent, we’re able to maximize the relevancy and impact,” says Jon Cassell, vice president of business development.

“Better Burger Leaf” a Hit Within Foodservice Industry

Mann Packing Company has a new “Better Burger Leaf” lettuce that is being gobbled up by the foodservice industry. A leaf of the Better Burger Leaf lettuce features a round shape that fits a hamburger bun with no waste, bright green frilly edges, a thin mid-rib, crunch throughout the leaf, and a sweet flavor, without the bitterness found in some lettuces.


Cause and Effect

Everyone in a company has a cause that’s close to his or her heart, but it’s the CEO’s job to select a charitable partner that connects with those who matter most—the customers—while balancing employees’ interests.

Selecting a cause that connects not only with consumers, but also with people within the company, is a critical element of the corporate giving strategy at Arby’s. This led the roast beef chain to develop a relationship with Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” program, which works to end childhood hunger in America, as part of its Arby’s Foundation.

More Green for Green

Much has been said about the advantages of integrating sustainable efforts into a quick serve’s operations, but a new study shows that such efforts might not just be good for the environment—they could reap financial rewards as well. 

According to a study out of Ohio State University, seven out of 10 customers say it’s good when a restaurant tries to protect the environment, and eight out of 10 would pay more to eat there. 

Diners Don’t Know What They Want

When it comes to healthy foods, Americans’ tastes are confusing.

A study released last week finds a somewhat befuddling discrepancy between what consumers want restaurants to offer in the way of healthy items and what they want to order.

The 2010 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, released on November 8 by Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based food-industry consulting firm, finds that “nearly half of all consumers want healthier menu items, but only about a quarter of them actively consider nutrition when dining out.”

These Spuds Aren’t Duds

Potato fries may have originated in Europe, but Americans have certainly embraced them as their own.

After all, nearly 8 billion servings of french fries were sold in U.S. restaurants during the 12 months that ended in June, according to statistics from NPD Group, a global market research firm. That represented 15.5 percent of all restaurant orders.

What to Do About Waste

A look at how some restaurants are cutting down.

When New York City–based burger concept 4food opened its first location in August, the media buzz it generated mostly stemmed from its innovative use of technology and social media. Plasma TV screens adorn its walls, including one that scrolls customer tweets. iPads are used to order food. And diners can save their specialized burger orders to an online database, available for anybody to order in the future—an act that credits the customer with 25 cents on later 4food visits.

Generation Now!

Look out quick serves: Generation Y, aka the Millennial Generation, is coming on strong. From third-graders to grownups pushing 30, they want it their way from Burger King and every other industry player. The smart restaurants will make sure to comply, because the Millennials number 92 million, making them the largest generation in the country. And they aren’t the grin-and-bear-it type.

“Like most people, those of the Millennial Generation value an operation that takes responsibility for its products and services, is honest in the way it conducts its business, and makes customers feel like they matter,” says Lee Igel, assistant professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. “But their feelings about all of this, and the way they react to good or poor products and services, are more intense than those of prior generations.”