Nature's Table has been going strong for 40 years.
Web Exclusive
“I grew up in a health food family,” says Rich Wagner, president of Nature’s Table. Wagner’s father, Francis, was a chemist, owned health food juice company Wagner Excello Juice in Illinois, and was also an investor in Vine and Harvest, a vitamin, smoothie, and frozen yogurt shop opened up by...
Curry Up Now
Health & Wellness
Togarashi-spiced burgers, chai-scented oatmeal, garam masala–infused cocktails: Fast-casual menus everywhere are getting spicier—and it’s not just about turning up the heat. Not only do herbs and spices pack a nutritional and flavor punch that allows chefs to trim fat and calories without...
The Trends of 2017
Menu Innovations
For all of the quick-service twists and turns that 2017 will be best remembered for, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest, according to industry experts: Food finally became our friend. It was the year when Americans began to worry less about diets and more about food quality...
My Ceviche
Emerging Concepts
For all its culinary flair and seemingly organic growth, My Ceviche is a data-driven fast casual with consumer analytics informing every major decision—even its original inception. Noticing an uptick in ceviche on menus across the U.S., former investment banker Roger Duarte teamed up with chef Sam...
Read Full Story // read more about: Alex Dixon, Fast Casual
Firehouse Subs
Franchising
For Firehouse Subs franchisee Windy Griffin, her operation is more about building a community than building a business. With no restaurant experience, she and her husband, Jerry, have grown the number of Firehouse units in their home market of Phoenix from one in 2011 to five locations as of this...
Subway is bringing back the $5 footlong.
Industry News
Subway has a challenging 2018 ahead. According to Business Insider, the world’s largest quick-service chain dropped its U.S. unit count by 909 locations in 2017. The number came from a Subway representative and represents more than 3 percent of the sandwich chain’s 2016 U.S. stores. It’s also...
Read Full Story // read more about: Danny Klein, Finance, LSR, Subway
Church’s Chicken
Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs
I'm the son of two Mexican immigrants who opened up a restaurant outside of Los Angeles, so I've been in the business over 40 years. I learned at a very young age that regardless of the economic conditions, people had to eat. This industry is somewhat recession proof. I started at Church's Chicken...
Growth
Restaurants are known for their razor-thin profit margins. That notion holds particularly true among affordable fast-casual and quick-service concepts. Add on pressures like rising real estate costs, unpredictable food prices, and minimum-wage hikes across the country, and operators are left with...

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Luke’s Lobster, &pizza, Flyrite
Diners’ love affair with traditional soda brands has evolved from a match made in heaven to awkward estrangement.
Food safety is key to any restaurant.
The food service industry was shaken when restaurant chain Chipotle had multiple, widespread food safety outbreaks, spanning various states.
The term “point-of-sale” can be a bit of a misnomer.
Until fairly recently, when people wanted cakes, cookies, croissants, cobblers, pastries, pies, popovers, muffins, or mille-feuilles, they had absolutely no expectation that the item in question would be anything other than a decadent, high-calorie treat.
Even with the increased frequency of other forms of payment, quick-serve restaurant operations are still largely cash-run enterprises, with cash accounting for more than 30 percent of all transactions. But as cash flow grows, so does the risk.
The most recent numbers on baseline performance of fast casuals suggest some deep-seated problems in the industry.