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.
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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