Special Report | August 2011 | By Sam Oches

The 2011 QSR 50

Page 8
The QSR 50 highlights the top fast food companies in the nation.
image used with permission.

Download Last Year’s QSR 50 in PDF Format

36/Del Taco

Taco Bell may be the king of the Mexican segment, but Del Taco is making a hard push for the young, value-minded customers that Taco Bell has always claimed. The company offered its 59-cent tacos for an unheard-of 39 cents, and also featured its Value Bean and Cheese Burrito at 49 cents, both for a limited time.


Although much of Baskin-Robbins’ 2010 was spent offering LTO flavors for its Flavor of the Month program and churning out social media promotions, the company really grabbed attention when it retired five flavors to its “Deep Freeze.”

To make room for new flavors, Baskin-Robbins sent French Vanilla, Caramel Praline Cheesecake, Campfire S’mores, Apple Pie a la Mode, and Superfudge Truffle packing.

38/El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco president and CEO Steve Carley departed for Red Robin in August but left the company with much to grow on. Early in 2010, El Pollo Loco added flame-grilled sirloin steak to its menu, and in March the concept rolled out three new sides: Flame-Grilled Corn, Sweet Corn Cake, and Sweet Potato Fries.

39/CiCi’s Pizza

In honor of CiCi’s 25th anniversary, the pizza chain offered its signature buffet for just $3.99; the promotion was so popular that it returned later in the year. In September, the company brought on industry veterans Bill Spae and Nancy Hampton to be chief development officer and chief marketing officer, respectively, and focus on driving brand growth.

40/White Castle

No other quick serve can claim that it released a candle carrying the scent of its signature product and sold out of them within 48 hours. The slider-scented candle made a splash across the industry (not to mention with the 90-year-old concept’s passionate consumer base), but so did news that White Castle was testing three new concepts: Deckers, a sandwich shop; Blaze Modern BBQ; and Laughing Noodle, with noodle dishes, soups, and salads.

Next: QSR 50 Profiles 41 - 45



I pains me that we celebrate the "success" of restaurants that sell food that makes the world so unhealthy. I can't wait for the day that fast food outlets start going out of business to be replaced by quick serve restaurants that serve only healthy and nutritious food.

It pains you to see a industry succeed. That is so ridiculous in these times.It's just like the early '90s and Outback Steakhouse was going crazy selling those horrible Steaks and Bloomin Onions and other non PC foods. No one was forcing people to buy their product. People buy what they want and the ones that are trying to force stuff that they don't like on them will get some PC sales for a period of time but will end up a vague memory just like De'Lites. The fact that most of you don't remember them proves my point.Let people do what they want. They will anyway, this is the USA.

In this wonderful United StatesIn 1958 approximately one meal in five were eaten in Restaurants. Through the years restaurants of all kinds have exploded in numbers. Today six and a half of ten meals are eaten in Restaurants. In 1958 life expectance was about sixty five years. Today life expectance is over 78 years. Has medicine inproved so much that it has kept us alive in spit of your claim of unhealthy food or have Restaurants offered healthier nutritious foods with unlimited choices and high sanitary standards that has contributed to the increase of life expectance in the US?As for obesity Americans have more spendable income today then ever before and food prices in Restaurants are very low. Im sorry if you are unable to do the math, blame your teacher.Remember Freedom of choice is my mine, don't tell me how to live my life.

Your comment reminds me of the back drop of a movie I once saw - Demolition Man. If you recall the reason the bad guy was let out of prison was because people wanted freedom of choice and the establishment was willing to do anything to stop them in the name of "protecting them from themselves". The only restaurant that was left was Taco Bell and the was by name only, for they did not sell anything that resemble a taco. I say no thanks to that life style. If I were you I would watch that movie again and truly ask myself if I would really want to live in a world like that or would I rather have the freedom to make the right choices for myself and my family.

Just because you were once obese or have food issues doesn't mean I did or I do. I am perfectly healthy, run 4 times a week and enjoy a burger now and then.

Take pride Healthy Guy, but don't waste your time trying to educate people who are unwilling or unable to face the facts. Let them eat cake, and let them get diabetes, heart disease, and the rest. Why should you care?!?

And oh yeah, let's not forget the slave wages. But Americans are descendants of slave masters so that won't concern the average American either. Go al-Qaeda!

hi,Im looking for a nice and famouse restaurant and coffeeshop brand for my restaurant in Iran , could you please give me your suggestion ?thanks

Hi Leyla,I prefer Chipotle, they use natural meats and sometimes organic beans and rice. If Mexican food is unpopular in Iran, Panera Bread is also on the healthier side, serving sandwiches, soups and salads. Good luck!-Morgan

Noon Biar, Kabab Berbar, sounds nice for your restaurant, if you also open a Noon bakery right beside your restataurant. That way you hit two birds with one stone!

Dear all famous fast food companies,We are supplying paper bags for food industry with best quality, services, price for customers,Our factory in Viet nam and we have experts from oversea supervising process and quality that why we believe that we can provide you is best.Contact me via : hoaiductmd@gmail.com,Nguyen Hoai Duc

I am looking for a VP of R & D for an International QSR company. Give me a ring if you know anyone. 615-499-5463.


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