Top Story News

Death of the Gourmet Burger?

In 2001 famed French chef Daniel Boulud rocked the restaurant world—and he did it with the most unlikely of dishes: the hamburger. Before it became a global phenomenon, the db Burger—a sirloin stuffed with braised short ribs and foie gras on a Parmesan bun that sells for a cool $32—was unlike any burger creation that […]

Simply Successful

In an industry of ever-more-ostentatious offerings, the Italian ice is about as humble as it gets: water, fruit, and sugar. Yet, Rita’s has parlayed that simple formula into a successful franchise business with an enviously loyal customer base. For the country’s largest Italian ice concept, which turns 25 this year, simple is anything but stupid. […]

10 Ways to Save

QSR tapped the best minds in the business to come up with a realistic list of ways operators could save thousands of dollars in less than one year. There’s no advanced logic or restaurant expertise needed—just a willingness to try new systems or make a few adjustments to existing protocols. From the bathroom to tax […]

Chop’t Creative Salad Co.

Tony Shure and Colin McCabe, best friends and business partners, go way back. They went to the same school in New York City. Friendly but distant at school, they grew close after finding themselves, by pure coincidence, both freshmen at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. One of the things they had in common was […]

Independent Living

After 35 years in fine dining, Michael Namour was ready to try something casual. With $275,000 and a lot of elbow grease, he opened Buns with partner George Ash in May 2008 across the street from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The name, chosen to grab customers’ attention, isn’t the only […]

Cut Costs, Keep Quality

A lot of things keep restaurateurs up at night, but high on the list for quick-service operators in 2009 is the rising cost of food. Eighteen percent expect it will be the top challenge they face this year, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). After skyrocketing to near 30-year highs in 2007 and 2008, […]

A Strategy for Growth

Success in today’s competitive quick-service market requires companies to open more restaurants, faster and in the optimal locations. That’s all while trying to minimize sales cannibalization between restaurants and constantly evaluating which restaurants to close and which to renovate. For a franchise system to grow and improve its business, it needs to have control of […]

Why People Quit

Turnover isn’t a simple behavior. People leave jobs for all kinds of reasons. While it’s easy to claim money is the reason people leave fast-food jobs, that’s only true some of the time. Take my job at Burger King. I started on a Tuesday. I was replacing a girl who started on Monday. She quit […]

Compostable vs. Biodegradable vs. Recyclable

A couple of years ago, Michael Oshman found a full line of foodservice packaging that claimed to biodegrade in landfills more quickly than any other plastic on the market. “It was like, ‘This is the product that we've been waiting for,’” says Oshman, who has been executive director of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) since […]

10 Under 300

Lean and Mean In the past six months, Ed Frechette has noticed a trend. “People on Wall Street are coming to Au Bon Pain for meetings and interviews,” says Frechette, senior vice president of marketing for the Boston-based chain, which has locations in New York City. Financial executives are not the only ones looking to […]

Subway’s Savior

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since Subway introduced the nation to a guy named Jared Fogle. In the first commercial, which originally ran only in the Midwest, that regular guy told a story that has now become a part of American pop culture: He’d been overweight as a kid—a product […]

Bites Out of the Bottom Line

Between 2006 and 2007 the checks written to CEOs in every industry super-sized. The median compensation for leaders of S&P 500 companies rose 23.57 percent, according to a study by The Corporate Library, a corporate data research firm. But now, as the cost of everything from beef to buns continues to rise while consumers hold […]

Kneaders Bakery & Café

Gary Worthington grew up inhaling freshly baked bread in the kitchen of his childhood home in Grantsville, Utah, a small farming community 40 miles west of Salt Lake City. Decades later, Worthington still enjoys the comforting aroma, though now it comes from his own business. Worthington and his family operate Kneaders Bakery & Café, a […]

A Great Customer Experience

Twenty years ago brands were concerned with total quality management. Then along came customer satisfaction management. Recently, some organizations have begun talking about managing the customers’ experience. This is an advanced view that suggests that what really dictates whether the customer will be a long-term asset is how he felt during his total experience at […]

Food for Thought

It is nearly 11 p.m. and Samantha Kelly is far from calling it a day. A freshman at Temple University in Philadelphia, Kelly closes her books, grabs her bag, and meets up with friends at the student center, where a Burger King is open until midnight. “We plan it all the time,” Kelly says. “We […]

Improving the Experience

In February, Subway announced Thys (pronounced Tice) J. Van Hout as the company’s new chief technology officer. Van Hout seized the opportunity to work with the international restaurant chain for a variety of reasons, the least of which include “leveraging technology to enhance the Subway experience at the store level and help increase franchisee profitability.” […]

Preventing Employee Theft

According to industry experts, employees most likely to steal or treat cash handling carelessly are those in the lowest income strata with the greatest access to cash, who tend not to stay with one employer for very long. In short: a typical quick-service employee. To catch an employee stealing is challenging, costly, and time-consuming, and […]