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QDOBA Mexican Eats Names San Diego “Home” with New Brand Headquarters

QDOBA Mexican Eats®, a leading Mexican fast-casual chain, is choosing to stay and invest in San Diego by opening its new headquarters in the AMP&RSAND office complex. Named “QDOBA Flavor Central,” the headquarters will also serve as a hub for the culinary team to create and test menu innovations.

“The QDOBA team is excited to call ‘America’s Finest City’ our official home,” said Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA Mexican Eats. “During the search for our new office, we knew we wanted to stay in San Diego and diligently sought out a space that reflects our collaboration-centric culture. The AMP&RSAND is a perfect fit.”

Formerly occupied by The San Diego Union-Tribune, QDOBA’s new headquarters is located at 350 Camino De La Reina. The office features exposed brick, concrete pillars and...

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Jun 4 11:35 AM, General News



Postmates and Pei Wei Launch On-Demand Delivery with Free Delivery

Postmates and Pei Wei Asian Kitchen, the leading fresh, Asian fast-casual restaurant, announced that they have partnered to bring Pei Wei's delicious Asian cuisine direct to the customer's doorstep. To celebrate, the companies are providing customers with free delivery. From the new, customizable Bento Boxes to its fresh, house-made Cauliflower Rice, every dish is made to order with quality ingredients, like house-chopped veggies and grass-fed flank steak. Now, you can have any of these delicious offerings delivered right to your door with no delivery fee.

"We are thrilled to add Pei Wei Asian Kitchen to our already long list of partners," said Dan Mosher, SVP, Merchant Lead at Postmates. "Our goal is to provide our customers with the most choices of any delivery platform, giving them the ability to...

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May 6 3:25 PM, General News


Panera Bread Appoints Niren Chaudhary as CEO

Panera Bread ("Panera" or "the Company") today announced that it has appointed Niren Chaudhary as President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Blaine Hurst who is retiring from his current role as CEO of Panera effective May 23, 2019. Hurst will remain on the Board of Panera and become Vice Chairman, and will work alongside Chaudhary after he joins the Company in early May to help ensure a smooth transition into his new role.

Chaudhary joins Panera from Krispy Kreme, where he has been the Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme International since 2017. Previously Chaudhary spent 23 years with Yum! Brands in a variety of executive positions. He has more than 25 years of international corporate leadership experience in the food retail and hospitality industry, and brings broad experience in...

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Apr 29 11:58 AM, General News


U.S. Fast Casual Restaurant Chains Still Growing in Units and Customer Visits

Fast casual restaurant chains have been growing both in units and customer visits for the last decade, finds The NPD Group. The number of fast casual chain restaurants rose by 1 percent to 25,312 total units, based on NPD’s Fall 2018 ReCount® restaurant census, which includes restaurants open as of September 30, 2018. In the year ending February 2019 compared to year ago, fast casual customers increased their visits by 3 percent while the total quick service restaurant category, under which the fast casual category falls, were up 1 percent and total U.S. foodservice traffic remained flat, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research.

The top five city metro areas with the most fast casual chain units based on the Fall 2018 ReCount are in rank order ...

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Apr 23 10:22 AM, General News


Habit Burger Grill Named Best Regional Fast Food in USA Today’s 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Since 1969, The Habit Burger Grill (Nasdaq:HABT) has been winning the hearts and stomachs of burger lovers time and time again. Now as the company celebrates its 50th anniversary, The Habit Burger Grill is once again recognized for its flavorful chargrilled burgers, handcrafted sandwiches and fresh salads as the 2019 USA Today 10Best “Regional Fast Food” award winner.

“At The Habit, we strive to deliver high quality taste in each bite of every menu item every day, and our fans have shown their appreciation with this award,” said Russ Bendel, Chief Executive Officer at The Habit. “Being voted as the 2019 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice winner is a humbling honor for our company.”

The Habit has also received honors as the “Best Tasting Burger in America” from a leading consumer magazine. Earlier this year, Thrillist called out The Habit as the ...

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Apr 22 2:01 PM, General News


QDOBA Mexican Eats Adding Impossible to Restaurants Nationwide by May 28

QDOBA Mexican Eats® is adding plant-based Impossible™ to its restaurants’ menus across the U.S. Following a successful product test in Michigan, the brand has decided to broaden its offering of Impossible with rolling availability beginning April 23 at select restaurants in Brooklyn, Denver and Los Angeles. By May 28, Impossible will be available at more than 730 locations across the country, which will make QDOBA the largest Mexican fast-casual chain to serve this plant-based protein.

“During our test, we quickly learned that consumers loved our unique take on Impossible, making it an easy decision to launch nationally,” said Jill Adams, vice president of marketing for QDOBA. “Our Impossible offering appeals to both meat lovers and vegans, while also delivering on the big, bold flavors that ...

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Apr 16 11:59 AM, General News


Boston Market Springs into Spring with New Seasonal Flavors and Easter Offerings

Just in time for spring, the rotisserie everything experts at Boston Market® are serving up new, seasonal-inspired dishes featuring fresh flavors of the warmer months. Starting April 1, Boston Market will serve its famous rotisserie chicken with a new balsamic twist, as well as a new side dish and dessert, available nationwide only through June 2. The new spring menu selections include ...

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Apr 4 1:43 PM, General News


FAT Brands Announces Multi-Unit Development Deal in Shanghai

FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) (“FAT Brands” or the “Company”), parent company of Fatburger, The Last Great Hamburger Stand™, announces the development of six new co-branded Fatburger and Buffalo's Express restaurants throughout Shanghai with Bloomfield Pty. Ltd. The new locations will build on FAT Brands' existing presence in China, where the company currently operates multiple successful locations in both Beijing and Shanghai.

Fatburger, the beloved Hollywood burger chain founded by Lovie Yancey, maintains and upholds its unique culture and trademark menu offerings crafted by founder Lovie Yancey when she launched the brand almost 70 years ago. Each Fatburger burger is made-to-order with traditional fixings and ...

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Mar 29 3:35 PM, General News


The Emerging Foodservice Brands of 2019 

A recent report by Fishbowl has defined emerging brands in the restaurant industry as chains with 5-75 units that exhibit a strong promise of potential growth in the future and embrace developments that are innovative and unique. These locations generate excitement, and consumers express interest in discovering these restaurants as the brands grow. The 2019 list was developed by survey analytics to obtain nominees from industry experts, food enthusiasts, executives, and advisors. Fishbowl then leveraged proprietary social data software to analyze more structured reviews, check-ins, and ratings. The Fishbowl Social Score was also used to rank the brands, using key performance indicators to rate restaurants on a score derived from the mining of consumer feedback. The algorithm is calculated on each brand's sentiment score, consumer ratings, check-in frequency, an enthusiasm index, and ...

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Mar 29 3:23 PM, Urner Barry


FAT Brands Inc. Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Results

FAT(Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) (“FAT Brands” or the “Company”) today reported fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018 financial results for the 13-week and 52-week periods ending December 30, 2018.

Andy Wiederhorn, President and CEO of FAT Brands, commented, “2018 was our first full year operating with our management platform, which was designed to seamlessly scale with new brand acquisitions. We demonstrated its capability through the smooth integration of both Hurricane Grill & Wings and Yalla Mediterranean into our system. We continue to seek synergistic acquisition opportunities that meet our criteria, where we can leverage our platform to drive efficiencies and growth.”

Because 2018 was our initial full year of operation, comparative information is not available for ...

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Mar 27 10:10 AM, General News


Millennials with Kids Are a Growth Group for U.S. Restaurants

Millennial parents, just like parents from the generations that preceded them, are increasingly looking to restaurants to take on the task of cooking for their families. Millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5 percent in 2018 compared to prior year, reports The NPD Group. Their visit increase is in comparison to flat traffic growth for the total foodservice industry in 2018, according to NPD, which tracks on a daily basis U.S. consumers’ use of restaurants and other foodservice outlets.

Millennials overall make the most restaurant visits per capita although their visits have been slowing. As teens and young adults they influenced the growth of the fast casual category, the “fresh” movement, and were early adopters of the hottest sauces and an assortment of ethnic flavors. Now as parents with hectic lives they’re turning to restaurants for ...

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Mar 20 11:16 AM, General News


Wingstop Appoints Chief Growth & Experience Officer and Names Leader of Digital

Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) the award-winning wing concept with more than 1,200 locations globally, today announced that Maurice Cooper has been appointed to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Chief Growth & Experience Officer, effective immediately. Maurice will maintain the responsibilities he held previously as Chief Marketing Officer, while also overseeing the end-to-end guest experience. Additionally, he will lead the Company’s revenue-driving initiatives, which include the national scale of delivery, and digital innovation. Maurice will continue to report to Charlie Morrison, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Since June 2018, Maurice has served as Wingstop’s Chief Marketing Officer, leading our growth strategy transformation by introducing a national advertising platform to ...

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Mar 13 12:17 PM, General News


Technomic Reports that Foodservice Achieved Strong Sales Growth in 2018

According to Technomic's 2019 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Advance Report, restaurant chains achieved stronger sales growth in 2018 than what was observed the prior year. This growth comes despite diminishing consumer foot traffic, labor challenges, and volatile operating conditions. For 2018, cumulative sales for the top 500 chains grew to $318 billion. Meanwhile, sales growth for casual dining rebounded to 1.3% in 2018, after dipping to 0.3% in 2017. Fast casual remains to be the fastest growing segment, increasing its sales 7.3% for the year. While sales have seen increased growth, new locations growth fell to a rate of 0.7% in 2018.

Also, total U.S. sales for the top quick service food chains is above $10 billion, whereas last year ...

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Mar 1 8:18 AM, General News


Tillster Serves the Stats on QSR and Fast-Casual Delivery

Delivery is on a meteoric rise in QSR and fast-casual dining. People are willing to pay a premium to get food without picking it up. In situations when restaurants don't provide delivery on their own, firms like DoorDash, UberEATS, and Postmates have built themselves on connecting consumers and restaurants across the last mile.
 
A recent study by digital ordering solutions firm Tillster aimed to summarize consumer preferences on food delivery. They found that in the past year more than half of all QSR and fast casual customers placed a delivery online, and a majority of customers would order more if delivery was available.
 
One of the biggest takeaways from Tillster's study was consumer preference for first-party ordering solutions. Consumers don't want to look for a restaurant on ...
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Feb 28 8:14 AM, Urner Barry


Shake Shack Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended 2018 Financial Results

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 26, 2018, periods that included 13 and 52 weeks, respectively.

Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter 2018:

  • Total revenue increased 29.3% to $124.3 million.
  • Shack sales increased 29.6% to $120.7 million.
  • Same-Shack sales increased 2.3%.
  • Shack system-wide sales increased 27.2% to $178.9 million
  • Operating income was $2.8 million, or 2.3% of total revenue, which included the impact of costs associated with Project Concrete and other one-time items totaling $0.7 million.
  • Shack-level operating profit*, a non-GAAP measure, increased 15.6% to ...
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Feb 26 9:35 AM, General News


Foodservice Celebrates Valentine’s Day with Charming Limited Time Offers 

Whether consumers are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a significant other, family, friends, coworkers, or plan to splurge on oneself, foodservice is providing exclusive limited time offers for those celebrating.

According to research from the National Restaurant Association, more than 30% of consumers will celebrate the holiday by dining out with their loved ones on February 14th, and since Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, consumers will be celebrating their love well into the weekend. While the National Retail Federation reports that fewer consumers are celebrating the holiday this year, those that do are spending more than ever before. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that foodservice operators are looking to entice consumers during this commercial holiday to earn a cut of the record amount of spending expected to take place this year...

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Feb 13 8:35 AM, Urner Barry


Moe's Southwest Grill Launches Quinoa Power Bowl Nationwide

Moe's Southwest Grill® is rolling out a new menu offering for those looking for more health conscious options - the Quinoa Power Bowl. The bowl packs all of the Southwest flavor that Moe's is known for with higher protein and fiber and lower carbohydrates. Today, the new bowl will roll out nationwide across the Moe's portfolio of more than 700 restaurants, making Moe's restaurants the first to launch a quinoa bowl in the Mexican fast casual segment.

The Quinoa Power Bowl is made with Mojo Chicken (all-natural white meat chicken breast), quinoa blend (quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato and zucchini), frijoles, shredded romaine lettuce, corn pico, guac, cilantro and queso fresco. Fans can also grab the quinoa blend as a side or an addition to other menu items ...

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Feb 12 9:08 AM, General News


Firehouse Subs Brings the Heat with New Spicy Cajun Chicken Sub

To kick off Firehouse Subs' 25th anniversary year, the brand debuts its latest result of menu innovation, the Spicy Cajun Chicken Sub. Available now for a limited time in all U.S. and Puerto Rico restaurants*, this sub is a hearty serving of Cajun-seasoned grilled chicken breast with zesty cherry peppers, melted Pepper Jack cheese and house-made Cajun mayo, served steaming hot on Firehouse Subs' signature toasted sub roll, available in white or wheat.

At $5.55 for a medium Spicy Cajun Chicken Sub**, Firehouse Subs guests can enjoy the brand's newest menu item at an affordable price that delivers the unmatched quality, portions and flavor they expect and enjoy. Additionally, guests can make their sub a combo with ...

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Jan 9 9:18 AM, General News


Chicken Salad Chick Signs Franchise Agreements for Development Beyond the Southeast

Fast casual concept to open first locations in Ohio and Illinois

Chicken Salad Chick, the nation's only southern inspired, fast casual chicken salad restaurant concept, announced today the signing of new franchise agreements that will expand its footprint beyond the Southeast and into the Midwest and South Central regions. These agreements will grow Chicken Salad Chick's presence in existing markets, including Texas and Louisiana, and mark its entry into Ohio and Illinois.

First-time Chicken Salad Chick franchisees Beth and Mike Heydt of Right to Serve, LLC and Jen Critchfiled of Buckeye Chick are fueling development in Ohio with the opening of the state's first restaurants in Columbus and Mason respectively. Illinois will also welcome its first Chicken Salad Chick location when Brad and Lisa Mazanek and Hannah Lukowski of SJ Restaurants, LLC open their new restaurant in Edwardsville next year, with an additional slated for development in O'Fallon. The company will continue to ...

 

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Dec 11 3:34 PM, General News


FAT Brands Acquires Yalla Mediterranean

Rapidly Growing West Coast Franchisor Expands with Acquisition of Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine Chain

FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) (“FAT Brands” or the “Company”) completed the acquisition of Yalla Mediterranean, a Los Angeles-based chain specializing in authentic, healthful Mediterranean cuisine and environmentally-friendly operations. With the acquisition of Yalla Mediterranean, FAT Brands franchises more than 300 restaurants worldwide and has over 300 additional restaurants under development in 32 countries, with annual system-wide sales greater than $300 million.

Founded in 2014, Yalla Mediterranean serves authentic cuisine prepared fresh daily with farm-friendly, GMO-free local ingredients from a menu that includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options to accommodate customers with a wide variety of dining needs and preferences ... 

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Dec 4 2:09 PM, General News


Taziki’s Mediterranean Café Launches New Innovative App

Customers to Receive Offers And Better Ordering Experience

Taziki's Mediterranean Café Launches New Innovative AppBirmingham, AL (Restaurant News Release) Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, recently named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies, has seen an impressive rise in online ordering and to-go sales in 2018.

During the past three years, the company has experienced an over 200% increase in the amount of online and to-go orders.

As a result, Taziki’s is focusing on efficiency and improving the customer experience with the ordering process. The restaurant is working to create more convenient ways to order ahead, both with a mobile app and online ordering options ...

 

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Dec 3 4:03 PM, General News


CAVA Announces Completion of Zoës Kitchen Acquisition

The combined company will have more than 8,000 team members across 24 states

CAVA Group Inc., a privately held and fast growing Mediterranean culinary brand, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Zoe's Kitchen, Inc., (NYSE: ZOES) and that Thursday, November 22nd will be the first day of operations for the combined company.

Zoës Kitchen shareholders received $12.75 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $300 million, as was originally announced on August 16, 2018. The acquisition will bring Zoës Kitchen into the private market...

 

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Nov 26 9:05 AM, General News


Panera Bread Meets Demand for Better Breakfast On the Go with Breakfast Delivery

First National Restaurant Company to Offer Breakfast Delivery by Its Own Drivers to Office or Home

Whether you prefer early dining at your desk or breakfast in bed, Panera Bread is giving you a new way to kick-start the morning by launching breakfast delivery, starting with 231 cities and towns nationwide. Now, Panera fans who work or live near participating cafes can order a better breakfast on the go that is packed with wholesome ingredients like fresh fruit, 100% clean bacon or brioche rolls baked fresh...

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Nov 19 9:12 AM, General News


Pei Wei is Now Offering Delivery, Making it Easier to Indulge in Fresh, Handcrafted Asian Food

Leading fresh, Asian fast-casual restaurant now delivers

Pei Wei Asian Kitchen has launched delivery nationwide, making it more convenient for guests to enjoy their favorite handcrafted, Asian-inspired dishes. Stay inside where it’s warm and cozy, because the leading fresh, Asian fast-casual restaurant now delivers straight to your door!

“After we re-launched our online ordering platform and mobile app, we saw an immediate increase in online ordering sales,” said Pei Wei Chief Marketing and Digital Officer Brandon Solano. “Online ordering correlates with delivery services, so we knew that we needed to launch this feature in order to make our food even more accessible to our loyal guests...

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Nov 9 9:32 AM, General News


Restaurant Sales Continue To Improve As Guests Visit Less But Spend More

Same-store sales growth on a two-year basis was 1.1 percent during October according to TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence™ data, based on weekly sales from over 30,000+ locations representing 170+ brands and nearly $71 billion in annual sales.

Headlines continue to be encouraging for the industry, as chain restaurants posted their fifth consecutive month of positive same-store sales growth during October. This month’s sales growth rate of 0.8 percent does represent a slowdown from the 1.2 percent reported for September and the 1.8 percent for August, but there was a promising sign in October’s results. Same-store sales growth on a two-year basis was 1.1 percent during October. As a comparison, two-year sales growth rates averaged -0.9 percent for the previous six months. These insights come from TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence™ data, based on weekly sales from over 30,000+ locations representing 170+ brands and nearly $71 billion in annual sales.

“As the industry heads into the fourth quarter, the fear was that...

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Nov 9 8:38 AM, General News


Plain and Simple, some Chains are Offering Clean-Label Menu Items

Restaurant companies, committed to answering their customers’ calls for clean-label items, are taking that request seriously.

In addition to offering more better-for-you menu options that are smaller in size, lower in calories and made with whole grains and lean proteins, some restaurant chains also are removing artificial colors and preservatives from their foods. Here’s a sampling...

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Nov 1 11:39 AM, General News


Chipotle Pilots New Customer Loyalty Program

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced it is piloting the company's highly anticipated new loyalty program, Chipotle Rewards. As the latest innovation in Chipotle's ongoing efforts to drive digital innovation and make the brand more accessible, the points-based loyalty system is now live in three test markets - Phoenix, Kansas City (both in Kansas and Missouri), and Columbus, Ohio.

"At Chipotle, we've been very focused on making our brand more accessible and growing love and loyalty among our customers," said Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer at Chipotle. "Now, with Chipotle Rewards, the more you Chipotle, the more you earn points towards free Chipotle."

Eligible customers in each of the three test markets can sign-up for Chipotle Rewards via the Chipotle app or on Chipotle.com. Those who enroll can earn 10 points for every $1 spent, with 1,250 points resulting in a free entrée. Offering a free entrée of choice allows customers to choose their favorite menu item without restrictions like other loyalty programs. To drive even more digital orders, for a limited time customers can...

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Oct 1 9:46 AM, General News


Slim Chickens Adds Non-Traditional Growth to Global Strategy

Slim Chickens, a leader in the “better chicken” segment of fast-casual restaurants, has enjoyed organic growth since taking the brand from co-founder Tom Gordon’s garage to its first location two miles from the University of Arkansas in 2003. Now, as Slim Chickens has grown to more than 75 locations in 14 states and spread its wings to the United Kingdom and Kuwait, the brand has expanded its growth strategy to non-traditional locations. This fall, Slim Chickens will come full circle and open a location in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at the University of Arkansas and Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State University, as well as Orland Square Mall near Chicago and opening soon in the Kuwait International Airport

“Growth in non-traditional locations will play a big role in our growth strategy this year and beyond,” said Sam Rothschild, Chief Operating Officer for Slim Chickens. “It’s such a good opportunity for us to be able to connect our brand emotionally to another experience that is highly emotional, like a football game. Our hope is that fans of these teams will now associate our brand with these incredible teams and raise our brand awareness in these key markets...

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Sep 5 12:23 PM, General News


Fast Casual Is the Only U.S. Restaurant Channel to Increase Traffic Over Past Five Years

Visit gains, which have slowed, are primarily due to store openings

Chicago, — As much of the U.S. restaurant industry continues to struggle with sluggish customer visits, the fast casual channel continues to grow. Visits to fast casual restaurants, which are quick service restaurant (QSR) concepts that offer more service, higher quality food, and have a higher average check size than other fast food restaurants, have grown 6 percent annually over the last five years, stemming in large part from store openings, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Fast casual units have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent over the last five years. Fast casual chain expansion increased units from 19,231 units in 2013 to 25,118 units in 2017, according to NPD’s Fall 2017 ReCount® restaurant ...

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Jul 3 10:02 AM, General News


Cowboy Chicken Recognized as Top Restaurant Mover and Shaker for Seventh Consecutive Year

Cowboy Chicken, the fast-growing restaurant chain known for its wood-fired rotisserie chicken, has been recognized once again by Fast Casual as one of the Top 100 Movers & Shakers. This is the seventh consecutive year that Cowboy Chicken has been named to this distinguished list, which celebrates innovative brands for their growth and sales accomplishments, use of technology to improve the customer experience and willingness to take risks.

In particular, Fast Casual recognized Cowboy Chicken for a new store prototype that was unveiled in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in February 2017. The new format features two rotisseries under a single hood, front-facing ovens that serve as the focal point of the dining room and a revised footprint that increases the number of available bar seats facing the ovens.

“To be continually numbered among the top movers and shakers in our industry affirms that...

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Jun 29 9:48 AM, General News


New Menus, Technology Fuel Rise in Restaurant Customer Satisfaction, ACSI Data Show

Texas Roadhouse, Chick-fil-A lead among full-service and fast food restaurants

Both full-service and fast food restaurants are revamping their menus and rolling out more mobile ordering options, to the delight of diners. Customer satisfaction with the Accommodation and Food Services sector overall rises 1.8 percent year over year to a score of 79.4 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's (ACSI(R) ) 100-point scale. According to the ACSI Restaurant Report 2018, full-service restaurants jump 3.8 percent to an ACSI score of 81, while fast food establishments gain 1.3 percent to a score of 80.

"As the economy improves, consumers have more money to spend, and they're dining out more," said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at ACSI. "At the same time, restaurants are adapting their menus and technology in line with shifting consumer preferences, as millennial tastes for fresh food, mobile ordering, and automated kiosks take hold. The bottom line: Restaurants are working hard to please consumers, and the latest ACSI scores show that it's paying off...

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Jun 27 9:21 AM, General News




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