The quick-service industry is one that thrives on innovation. After all, who do you think invented Ronald McDonald, the drive thru, and the Fourthmeal?

In an industry crowded by competition, however, there are a few thought leaders that stand out above the rest. QSR magazine, the leading news source covering the quick-service industry, chose the top 10 innovators in the $164.8 billion restaurant segment and covered them in its May 2010 issue, available now to qualified subscribers.

“There’s really no better way to describe the people who made QSR’s top innovator’s list than to say simply they are the people who matter most in quick service,” says Blair Chancey, QSR’s editor. “It was thrilling pulling together the list because these are the A-list celebrities of our restaurant segment and arguably the restaurant industry as a whole.”

The 2010 Top 10 Innovators are:

Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

Steve Ells, CEO of Chipotle

Sue Morelli, CEO of Au Bon Pain

Fred DeLuca, president of Subway

Antonio Swad, CEO of Pizza Patron

Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s

Jeff Harvey, CEO of Burgerville

Stan Sheetz, CEO of Sheetz

In addition to accessing exclusive interviews with each of the executives, readers can also learn the role innovation plays in each leader’s business model. “In Yum’s culture, we believe that everyone can make a difference regardless of where they are or what function they work for,” Yum Brands CEO David Novak told QSR. “Some of our greatest innovations come from our franchisees.”

The full 2010 Top 10 Innovators story, written by veteran foodservice editor Ellen Koteff, will run online on QSR’s homepage May 10–17.

Menu Innovations, News