Outside Insights
While many restaurants have begun offering mobile order-ahead to their customers, many hesitate due to the operational complexities they face in developing this functionality. As daunting as it may seem, the reality is that the benefits of implementing order ahead far outweigh the challenges in its...
The Soup Cup
Menu Innovations
The tagline for Traverse City, Michigan–based fast casual The Soup Cup is “A Microsouperie,” a play on the popular microbrewery term. And just like the change microbreweries have brought about to perceptions of beer, co-owners Scott and Rita Nitsche want to revolutionize how Americans view and...
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Fast casual sales are still struggling.
It probably goes without saying that restaurants would like to put 2017’s third quarter in the rearview. Historically, thanks to back-to-school promotions, it’s tough enough on its own. But this past year was a different kind of beast altogether. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria cracked the...
Read Full Story // read more about: Danny Klein, Fast Casual
McAlister's Deli's new sandwiches are on-trend for 2018.
Web Exclusive
Quick-service operators can expect an even more cut-throat market—if such a thing even seems possible—in 2018, as restaurant experts predict tougher competition for the value-minded consumer. But that's not all restaurateurs will have to worry about in the new year: Diners will increasingly want...
Pita Pit has big plans ofr 2018.
Executive Insights
Change is afoot at Pita Pit. The fast casual recently hired Doug Reifschneider, a former Firehouse Subs executive, to lead its marketing efforts. Back in June, the company rolled out a new design geared toward future growth. Now, Pita Pit is testing a fresh menu in 37 stores across the country with...
Taco Bell, McDonald's are battling with dollar menus.
Consumer Trends
Over the last several years, the menu at McDonald’s has undergone something of an identity crisis. McDonald’s tested the waters of value combos with the “McPick 2” menu, introduced the Big Mac’s relatives, Mac Jr. and the Grand Mac, and mixed in old favorites like the McRib with new items like...
American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
Four years ago, André Vener, Hagop Giragossian, and Quasim Riaz made a pact: They were never going to franchise their gourmet sausage and hot dog brand. During Dog Haus's first three years in operation, everyone from business moguls and consultants to rabid fans approached them about the...
A McDonald's restaurant is seen with its drive thru. The restaurant is hoping to add recycling at all locations.
Here’s a pretty eye-opening fact: Since early 2015, when Steve Easterbrook was named McDonald’s CEO, the fast-food giant’s stock has more than doubled. It’s 46 percent higher so far in 2017 alone. In fact, it hit all-time highs every single day this week, as The Motley Fool points out. But what...
Read Full Story // read more about: Danny Klein, LSR, McDonald's


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.