Ken Switzer is Marco’s Pizza’s CFO and developed Marco’s Assurance.
Executive Insights
When banks wanted a third-party guarantee who didn’t have to sell their house to repay franchisee loans, Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco's Pizza, stepped in with an unusual idea. As a result of the frozen credit market, Switzer developed Marco's Assurance, which offers a $50,000 guarantee on franchisees...
Consumers are buying more restaurant gift cards.
Web Exclusive
For most retailers, the days after Christmas are awash with returned gifts. But many quick-service operators are seeing a flood of gift cards. Consumer spending for prepaid cards at limited-service restaurants soared this year, and the growth was even stronger during the holiday season, according...
There is a fine line between terrific and terrible cheap restaurant marketing ef
In the teeth of the recession, Back Yard Burgers developed a new, slimmed-down marketing strategy. The roughly 200-unit, Nashville, Tennessee–based chain cut costs across the board, developed a slick-looking website, and created a social media strategy centered on Facebook and Twitter. But Ken King...
Seven trends will effect the way operators do business in 2011.
Special Report
Restaurant operators have spent 2010 in wait-and-see mode. The economy seems to have survived the financial collapse of 2008—survived being used quite literally here, as in, not died—and is even slowly growing. But consumers are still pinching pennies, and staying afloat in the restaurant industry...
Wendy's new Dave's Hot 'n Juicy Cheeseburger is being advertised by Wendy hersel
Web Exclusive
Two decades ago, as Wendy’s was mired in a sales slump, the burger chain turned to its founder, Dave Thomas, to serve as its advertising voice. The move proved fortuitous. After a shaky start, Thomas evolved into the folksy, self-effacing face of the company—and a beloved American character. He...
Charlie Morrison went from interim to full-time executive at Pizza Inn.
Executive Insights
In an economic climate full of uncertainty and change, many businesses have turned to interim executives to right the ship. The quick-serve industry is no different. In June, Denny’s Corp. named chairwoman Debra Smithart-Oglesby interim CEO after Nelson Marchioli left the company. In August, El...
Pei Wei's menu is inspired by food from five Asian nations.
Web Exclusive
There’s nothing unusual about a quick-serve concept doing a little bit of R&D homework in the culinary environment that inspired its menu. So when Chef Eric Justice, executive chef of Asian concept Pei Wei, visits Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea next year to do some menu...
Chicken on a stick can expand a concept’s menu offerings.
Marc Halperin: Resident F&B Expert
It’s been breaded, fried, broken into its constituent parts and pieces, and served in a bucket. It’s been basted, grilled, broken into chunks, and layered over greens and vegetables. It’s been dressed, pressed, formed into patties, slapped on a bun, and served as a sandwich. And it’s been roasted,...


Enterprise systems are more advanced than ever. Not only do they provide vital business information, but they can also make maintaining a consistent menu database across the brand easier than it’s ever been.
For years, Pita Pit worked to educate customers about the nutritional value of its various pita fillings and toppings.
For those limited-service brands that don’t yet have mobile ordering, consider three words of advice from Nike: Just do it.Within the next three years, every quick serve with any kind of regional or national footprint will have mobile ordering system-wide, says Russell Zack, senior vice president of
In the last 20 years, quick-service restaurants have strived to become lifestyle choices for American consumers.
There was a time when kids’ meals were for kids.
When investors are ready to sink their cash into up-and-coming brands, they love to find unique concepts with passionate fans, enthusiasm from franchisees, and a differentiated product offering.
Many restaurateurs are ready to feel the warm spring breeze, as it means diners will rid themselves of their cabin fevers and begin eating out again. But restaurateurs and their guests are not the only ones who are excited—pests are too.
Today’s fast-casual industry is at the leading edge of breakfast innovation.
Controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMO) continues to sow doubt about them among consumers, despite being deemed safe to eat by the FDA and the National Academy of Sciences.
Food halls are taking the nation’s cities by storm, providing locals with a central location for dozens of innovative concepts.