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    200 Ideas for 200 Issues

  • A look back at moments from QSR’s first 200 issues.

    2001

    • Recruit minority franchisees by building in inner cities.

    • Have a great website—you might get a [email protected] from QSR.

    • Social investing doesn’t have a chance unless a company’s chief executive gives it the nod.

    2002

    • Look at the military as the next big nontraditional market.

    • Barry Gibbons’ absurd yet pointed advice on being a better CEO: “Deliberately sit down and forget somebody every day.”

    • An obesity lawsuit has the industry thinking seriously about consumer health concerns and what they mean to the business.

    • “Fast food ain’t the real problem. [Author Eric] Schlosser’s the real problem—inasmuch as he exists on the planet with six billion peers. Their aspirations and needs create demand forces that are supplied by people. As such they are occasionally subject to greed and abuse, and are occasionally out of control.”—columnist Barry Gibbons responds to Fast Food Nation

    2003

    • “If you really wanted to get crazy, how about a crunchy taco in a Cool Ranch Dorito shell?” —then-editor Greg Sanders

    • Take a look at gourmet coffee.

    • Why no crepes in quick service?

    • Pay staff either minimum wage or a shared pool of money equivalent to 25 percent of monthly net sales, whichever is higher.

    • If you’ve run into trouble, you’re probably not paying enough attention to your menu.

    • Two words: butcher shop.

    • Offer snack sizes.

    • Model your customer service on Disney, where guests are on vacation.

    • Pick one sense and find a way to affect it in the first 10 seconds of a guest’s visit.

    • Do more with soup.

    2004

    • McDonald’s quietly tests its McCafé concept for the second time in the U.S. (The first was in Chicago in 2001, which closed down after a year.)

    • If your time and resources are only set up to defend your brand, eventually you will lose.

    • Restaurants jump onboard the low-carb bandwagon.

    • Fifty-nine percent of readers don’t believe the industry should take responsibility for improving customers’ health.

    • Sbarro’s CD-ROMs-on-drink-cups initiative “the wave of the future.”

    • Turnover at Pal’s Sudden Service: 68 percent hourly, 2 percent assistant manager, 0 percent general manager.

    • Healthy Bites Grill financial struggles make some wonder if healthy is profitable.

    • Industry consultant Norine Larson says young adults have “little or few manners.”

    • Turn down sponsorships.

    • The industry term “premium fast-serve” becomes “quick-casual.”

    • Low-carb craze threatens snack brands like Krispy Kreme.

    • Restaurant Advisory Services’ Ronald Gorodesky says cobranding is a long-term retail trend.

    • Younger Americans flock to the Web for everything from concert tickets to finding a date.

    • The Drive View window system showcases restaurants’ prep process in the drive thru.

    • Columnist T.J. Schier: Every store should own a television, DVD player, personal computer, and CD-ROM drive.

    • Ultrasonic sound waves and smell-secreting menuboards are drive-thru tech of the future.

    • Food columnist Marc Halperin: Korean barbecue has potential for industry-wide success.

    • Fast-casual momentum appears to be waning.

    • Kahala Corp. is “one big happy family.”

    • Food columnist Marc Halperin: Quinoa will make its presence known nationwide.

    • Angus beef gives brands like Back Yard Burgers and CKE an early claim to the better-burger category.

    • Seventy-one percent of readers say there is no room for alcohol in quick service.

    • With Moe’s, Mama Fu’s, and Planet Smoothie in its portfolio, Raving Brands is on a roll.

    2005

    • Technomic’s Ron Paul wonders if Chipotle can continue to find people willing to pay more for higher
    quality.

    • Eastern Europe an emerging hot market.

    • Columnist Barry Gibbons: Reduced menu choices, fresh ingredient use, and invention are French nouvelle cuisine tips that can revolutionize quick service.

    • McDonald’s makes a big comeback.

    • Better Burger NYC offers an upscale burger product.

    • Jake’s Ice Cream partners with Tower Records in a music-based marketing campaign.

    • Fading low-carb craze proves that operators must give customers what they want.

    • Cupcakes are big on profit.

    • McDonald’s makes it known that Chipotle is for sale.

    • Dunkin’ Brands CEO Jon Luther: Dunkin’ is not competing with Starbucks.

    • Operators switch from dial-up to high-speed, broadband Internet.

    • Now that the low-carb trend is dead, dieters turn their attentions to trans fats.

    • “Remember yogurt?”

    • The popular theory: Gen Y members “don’t give a damn.”

    • Magic Johnson shares his plans for his quick-service restaurant portfolio.

    • Quick-service brands test self-service technology.

    • Cofounder Rusty Coco leads the charge to eliminate trans fats from the Jason’s Deli menu.

    • Cold Stone Creamery the “hottest chain on the 2005 QSR 50.”

    • Talk bubbles up that Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits might change its name.

    • Papa John’s CEO Nigel Travis envisions growing pizza’s lunch business.

    • Xpient Solutions CEO Christopher Sebes predicts mobile ordering.

    • Gen Y snacking a trend.

    • Earl of Sandwich aims to be the “Starbucks of sandwiches.”

    • Wendy’s looks to unload Baja Fresh.