Top Fast Casual News

Noodles & Co. Develops Franchise Deal in the Dakotas

Noodles & Company—the Colorado-based restaurant concept that serves made-to-order noodles, salads, and sandwiches inspired from around the world—announced a new development agreement with franchise group Prairie Pasta Company. Prairie Pasta is an affiliate of Border States Management, based in Willmar, Minnesota. The new franchise partner is slated to open its first Noodles & Company location […]

Not Just Calories: MAD Greens Puts Nutritionals On Menu

MAD Greens will not technically be affected by the upcoming national mandate requiring restaurant chains with 20 or more units to post calorie counts on their menuboards; the Denver-based salad-and-panini concept has 10 units to date. But the company’s leadership recently decided to add calorie counts anyway—and to go a step further by adding sodium, […]

Moe’s Makeover Focuses on Sustainability, Efficiency

Atlanta-based fast casual Moe’s Southwest Grill recently unveiled a new prototype that it will roll out in new units this year. The changes made for the new prototype, though, are subtler than those made at most brands that revamp their concept and focus mostly on sustainability, efficiency, and a cleaner store look. Paul Damico, president […]

Saladworks’ Healthy Eats Move Into Barbecue Country

Saladworks recently opened its first North Carolina location with the help of a franchisee who hopes to preach the benefits of healthy food in barbecue country. Unmesh Patel opened his first of three planned Saladworks units on March 9 in the food court of The Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham. “It’s taken a while […]

EVOS Will Once Again ‘Shake Up’ Earth Day

For a third consecutive year, EVOS, a fast-casual restaurant company with an earth-friendly attitude, will offer free organic milkshakes to customers at each of its locations in celebration of Earth Day, April 22. Made from simple, wholesome ingredients like USDA-certified, organic milk and served in biodegradable cups made from plant-based ingredients, the shakes reinforce EVOS’ ongoing […]

Sodexo Signs Decade Deal with Cafe Spice

  Sodexo, Inc. announced today that it signed a master retail license agreement with the award-winning Indian concept, Café Spice, to bring traditional Indian cuisine with a South Asian flair to Sodexo operations across country. The concept made its nontraditional debut in the university segment this fall at Sodexo-managed Babson College in Massachusetts and at […]

That’s Hot: Spicy Trio Comes to Moe’s

Moe’s Southwest Grill today introduced a new Spicy Trio available for a limited time.  Moe’s new Spicy Queso and Jalapeno Sour Cream are the featured ingredients of the Spicy Burrito, Quesadilla, and Rice Bowl. The contrasting sensation of the cool sour cream with the fiery jalapeno adds a bold twist to the new menu item.  […]

Social Media Not Just for Photos, Friends Anymore

  Exit41 signed three new restaurant clients for its social ordering solution, which includes integrated online, mobile, Facebook and phone-in ordering applications for takeout, delivery and catering. With Exit41's social ordering solution, consumers can place food orders from the restaurant's Facebook page and share and "Like" their favorite menu items within their social network, enabling […]

To Help Franchisees, Saladworks Sends the C-Suite

Saladworks is offering franchisor support in a big way: three members of the executive leadership team, including the concept’s founder and CEO, are visiting new franchisees in their markets as part of the site selection process. Twice a month, John Scardapane, Saladworks founder and CEO; Paul Steck, president; and Jena Henderson, vice president of brand […]

Qdoba Takes the Streets to the Stores in Mini Tacos

Qdoba Mexican Grill introduced Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos to its more than 500 restaurants nationwide. Available only for a limited time beginning March 7, Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos offer guests a fresh, flavorful spin on traditional Mexican street fare. Qdoba’s Mini Street Tacos come with three small, soft corn tortillas filled with the guest’s choice […]

Jason’s Deli a Hit with Parents, According to Study

Jason’s Deli, which feeds more than 50 million people annually in 28 states, won the Best Restaurant Chain survey by Parents magazine. The survey measures where families can get the most nutritious foods for the best price while also having the least stressful experience. The results of the 10 Best Restaurant Chains survey appear in the […]

New Schlotzsky’s Items Easy as One-zy, Two-zy, Three-zy

The triple threat of Schlotzsky’s Bacon Smoke Cheezy Three-zy sandwiches were such a big hit during their debut, the company is bringing them back for an encore performance. The Chicken & Bacon Smoke Cheezy, Turkey & Bacon Smoke Cheezy, and Ribeye Steak & Bacon Smoke Cheezy will be around through May 29. The Chicken & […]

Which Wich Franchisee Goes Way of the Monkey

MonkeyMedia Software, a provider of Web-based software, strategy, and education services for multiunit restaurant operators, announced that S.M.A.R.T. Restaurant Group will deploy MonkeyCatering to 11 franchised Which Wich units to enable increased operational control over the company’s catering business. The “2010 Which Wich Franchisee of the Year,” S.M.A.R.T. Restaurant Group delivers on Which Wich’s reputation […]

Australian Burger Joint to Make Inroads Into U.S.

Oporto. It’s Australian for burger, and it’s definitely not beef. Direct from the world famous Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, comes Oporto, a fast-casual restaurant concept with a focus on fresh-grilled, flavorful chicken burgers. On February 25, Oporto will open its first U.S. location at 8220 Haven Ave, at the corner of Foothill and Haven in […]

NFL Legend Opens Fast-Casual Burger Joint

Don Shula, the winningest coach in National Football League history, announced a new fast-casual burger concept called Shula Burger. The concept will include gourmet burgers as well as a build-your-own-burger menu. The restaurant will also feature salads, chicken sandwiches, and veggie burgers. "We have been working on Shula Burger for two years," Shula says. "We think that this […]

Jamie Oliver TV Finds Fresh Idea at NAFEM

Representatives for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s new television show are looking for the newest healthy food equipment at this year’s NAFEM Show in Orlando, Florida. Among the equipment that struck their interest was SpinFresh, a salad-spinner-style oil machine that creates healthier fried foods for restaurants. “They just came up to us literally as the lights […]

New South Carolina Bojangles’ Opens

Jeniel LLC is satisfying Darlington, South Carolina’s craving for Bojangles’ “Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits” with the opening of its newest location at 1524 South Main Street in Darlington. This marks Jeniel LLC's 10th location to open in the Carolinas region.  “We are thrilled to open a new Bojangles’ restaurant in Darlington and serve residents with […]

Which Wich Wiches Get Bigger

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches recently unveiled two larger sandwich sizes—10.5 inches and a 14-inch Superwich—to  complement its classic 7-inch sandwich. In addition, Which Wich added a 32-ounce plastic stadium cup to offer guests a larger beverage option.                                                   This is the first time in its seven-year history that the sandwich chain has made significant changes to […]

Four Industry Vets Form Investment and Consulting Firm

Four veteran restaurant industry executives have combined resources, experience, and expertise to form K3R Capital Partners LLC, a restaurant investment and management consulting firm targeting chain restaurants.
K3R Capital Partners aims to make controlling-interest equity investments in restaurant chains at pivotal points in their business lifecycle, including turnarounds, divestitures/spin-offs, financial restructurings, and bankruptcy. K3R's specific targets include […]

First WA Panera Drive Thru Celebrated with Free Coffee

Olympia, Washington, mayor Doug Mah helped celebrate the recent opening of Washington’s first Panera Bread drive thru, located at 2525 Capital Mall Drive in Olympia, by breaking a giant baguette with Thurston County Chamber members and Panera employees. Mah presented a proclamation announcing Panera Drive-Thru Day and welcoming customers to the new bakery-cafe by passing […]

Moe’s On a “Food Mission”

Moe’s Southwest Grill introduced its "Food Mission," which includes redesigned menu boards that will feature a new food mission wheel “steering” guests to select healthier food choices. These healthy menu options include gluten-free ingredients, vegan-friendly options, and low-calorie meals. Moe's uses more than 20 fresh ingredients, including hormone-free grilled chicken, beef and even organic tofu. […]

Uncle Maddio’s: The Chipotle of Pizza?

The fast-casual segment has been one of the brightest spots for the restaurant industry the last few years, with majors players like Chipotle drawing cash-strapped customers away from casual and fine dining with strong quality but a lower price point. Now one industry veteran wants to ride the success of the fast-casual industry by introducing […]

U.S. Restaurant Count Down

The number of U.S. restaurants declined by -1 percent, or a loss of 5,551 restaurants, from a year ago, according to a fall 2010 restaurant census conducted by the NPD Group. NPD's Fall 2010 ReCount, which is a census of commercial restaurant locations in the U.S. compiled in the spring and fall each year, showed […]