It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of 2014.
The story of the future of the foodservice industry starts with a man, a man who trained to become a chef, a chef who wanted to do things differently. Or maybe it was that all he could afford to do was something different. But in his first restaurant, different is what he did: different service format, different ingredients, different sourcing partners, different idea of what was possible outside of the fine-dining arena.
Q: What does it take for a quick-service brand to become a great brand?
A: I get this question all the time. Many people look at superstar brands like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Nike and mistakenly conclude those companies achieved their successes as a result of good timing, great advertising, or just plain luck. But I’ve found that these companies have employed specific, somewhat surprising, techniques that have turned them into industry icons.
While the obesity epidemic has received a lot of attention in the U.S., hunger, particularly childhood hunger, is a serious problem that tends to be less understood by the American masses. More than 16 million kids (one in five) in the U.S. do not have access to the food they need, according to hunger-relief charity Feeding America.
But in the last few years, restaurants have become a powerful tool in the fight against hunger, and several programs are capitalizing on foodservice partners—including quick-serve restaurants—to bring food to those in need.
Miles removed from the nearest highway, shopping mall, and chain restaurant—or any restaurant at all—lie 40,000 acres of forest, meadows, and pastures, home to wildlife of all sorts and 1,400 head of Red Angus cattle. The herd, property of Meyer Company Ranch, roam free under the big sky of Montana, munching on grass and mineral supplements, moving leisurely from one field to the next to avoid over-grazing. Rounded up by real-life cowboys just one day a year for vaccines—not antibiotics, not hormones—the cattle have little reason to stress.
NCR Corporation announced that Shake Shack has implemented the NCR Pulse Real-Time smartphone application, joining the 5,500 others already using the app.
Available for iOS and Android devices, NCR Pulse Real-Time is a SaaS-based mobile analytics engine that helps restaurant operators solve the everyday challenges of low visibility into current operational performance, lack of predictable data, and inability to be in several places simultaneously.
MGM Resorts International unveils details about the experience it is creating in Las Vegas surrounding the world-class 20,000-seat arena under development in partnership with renowned sports, entertainment, and facilities organization AEG. Plans include new Stripside experiences at New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts and a public park leading to the new state-of-the-art arena. The company also announced details about the team who will bring this new experience to fruition.
No sleep ‘til Brooklyn! Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is proud to announce it will open its second Brooklyn Shake Shack in fall 2013. The new Shack will make its home at 170 Flatbush Ave., just a three-pointer and slap shot away from Barclays Center—NYC’s exciting new entertainment destination and home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and NHL’s New York Islanders (2015).
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.
With relief efforts still underway, New York-based Shake Shack is holding a week-long drive to help raise awareness and funds for the American Red Cross in support of victims impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
Shake Shack has created a special milkshake, the "Rally Shake," inspired by New York City's iconic Black & White cookie.
The Rally Shake will be available for $5.50 and will rally support and funds to help those in need.
From Sunday, November 4, through Sunday, November 11, Shake Shack will donate $2 to the American Red Cross for every Rally Shake sold.