jerryking + fast-food   58

Arby’s Parent to Acquire Jimmy John’s
Sept. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

BUSINESS
Arby’s Parent to Acquire Jimmy John’s
Inspire Brands adds to a stable of restaurants that also includes Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings

Jimmy John’s had $2.15 billion in U.S. sales last year across 2,803 stores. PHOTO: JOHN LOCHER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
By Heather Haddon
Sept. 25, 2019 6:55 am ET
Inspire Brands Inc. is acquiring Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, the private-equity-backed firm’s latest addition to its stable of restaurant chains.

While competitors focus on either fast-food or casual restaurant formats, Inspire is betting that it can draw in more diners and generate higher sales by owning restaurants that span that spectrum. The company acquired the Sonic burger chain last year after merging Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings earlier in the year.

The acquisition of Jimmy John’s will make Inspire the fourth-largest U.S. restaurant company, with more than $14 billion in sales across 11,200 restaurants, according to Inspire. Both companies engaged in an equity-swap transaction for the deal, the exact financial terms of which weren’t disclosed. The transaction is expected to close next month.

Inspire Chief Executive Paul Brown has said he wants to acquire around 10 chains, each with about $4.5 billion in annual sales.

“I’m more confident in our approach to the business today than I was even when I started out on this path,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. He added that he is looking for chains with strong growth potential rather than specific cuisines to add to Inspire’s menu.

Jimmy John’s, based in Champaign, Ill., had $2.15 billion in U.S. sales last year across 2,803 stores, a roughly 50% increase in both sales and locations since 2013, according to market-research firm Technomic Inc.

Roark Capital Group, a private-equity firm that first took a majority stake in Jimmy John’s in 2016, is also the financial backer that created Inspire through the Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings merger last year. Jimmy John’s was valued at around $2.3 billion when Roark acquired a stake that included a minority share in the sandwich maker owned by private-equity firm Weston Presidio.

Jimmy John’s is facing competition from newer sandwich chains including Jersey Mike’s Subs, Firehouse Subs and Cousins Submarines Inc. Subway remains the dominant player in the market and has expanded delivery through outside companies. Jimmy John’s has stuck to its own fleet of delivery couriers. Mr. Brown said it was too early to say whether Inspire would open Jimmy John’s to third-party delivery companies.

Jimmy John Liautaud, who opened the chain while he was in college at Eastern Illinois University in 1983, will step down as board chairman and become an adviser to the brand, Inspire and Mr. Liautaud said. Jimmy John’s president, James North, will remain and report to Inspire.

In a letter sent Wednesday to suppliers and vendors, Mr. Liautaud said Inspire’s buying power and technology would make the company more efficient and profitable.

“I created, raised, and nurtured this company to the best of my ability and now it’s time for this brand to soar,” he wrote.

Outside of its holdings in Inspire, Atlanta-based Roark has a large food and restaurant portfolio, with investments in ice-cream maker Carvel, Auntie Anne’s pretzels and burger chain Carl’s Jr. Roark led Wingstop Inc. to a public offering in 2015 after owning a majority of the chain for five years.

Wingstop’s shares were up 36% this year as of Tuesday’s close, roughly in line with share gains this year for some other multibrand restaurant companies, including Yum Brands Inc. and Restaurants Brands International Inc.

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com
brands  fast-food  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  restaurants 
26 days ago by jerryking
US fast-food chains struggle as poorer consumers tighten belts
November 11, 2018 | Financial Times | by Alistair Gray in New York.

The robust US economy is failing to boost the fast-food industry as chains grapple with a saturation of retail outlets, consumer demands for deep discounts and declining footfall.

Numbers visiting US fast-food outlets in September dropped 2.6 per cent from a year ago, according to restaurant industry data provider MillerPulse, a steeper decline than the 0.8 per cent year-on-year drop recorded the previous month.

Industry executives and consultants cited a series of factors, including consumer demand for healthier alternatives to burgers and pizzas and lower construction activity, which means fewer building workers are picking up fast food on lunch breaks.

The tough landscape has taken its toll on several operators. Last week, the New England-based owner of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches filed for bankruptcy protection.
bankruptcies  fast-food  low-income  QSR  restaurants  store_closings  oversaturation 
november 2018 by jerryking
Japanese convenience stores limber up in effort to spur growth
April 15, 2018 | FT | Leo Lewis and Robin Harding in Tokyo YESTERDAY.

Over the next five years, FamilyMart — Japan’s second-biggest convenience store chain with revenues of ¥3.1tn ($29.5bn) — plans to open 300 Fit & Go gyms in a challenge to its two largest competitors, Seven & i Holdings and Lawson.

FamilyMart’s move into fitness highlights powerful trends that are transforming Japanese retail. They are creating fresh opportunities, say analysts, for the mighty konbini (a transliteration of “convenience”) to seize an ever greater share of consumer spend.

“Current social patterns — the rise of working women, the ageing population — are a strong following wind for the convenience store industry,” said Sadanobu Takemasu, chief executive of Lawson, the third-largest operator with ¥2.6tn sales and 14,000 stores. Rural depopulation is also on their side, with a konbini often the last shop standing in many communities.

“There are people who think Japan can manage with nothing but ecommerce and convenience stores. The big dry goods like toilet paper would come online,” he added. “All the day-to-day goods would come from the convenience store.”

But, say analysts, even the konbini face the challenge of population decline. Footfall at stores open for more than a year has fallen for 24 months in a row, the longest period since the Japan Franchise Association began compiling the statistics in 2004.

The answer to lower footfall is more revenue per customer. Having achieved dominance of their own industry through consolidation, the konbini are moving into other sectors, taking on supermarkets, coffee shops, drug stores and fast-food chains......“The convenience stores’ biggest challenge is the absence of a new category big enough to give the whole industry a lift,” said Mr Kawano, who added that even the ready-to-eat likes of the Famichiki had yet to prove their power to transform. “Each group is investing more in its fast-food offering — but there has been nothing revolutionary, no game changer.”
convenience_stores  retailers  Japanese  prepared_meals  Japan  foot_traffic  gyms  fast-food  trends  new_categories 
april 2018 by jerryking
Shake Shack Looks to Digital for Growth - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Angus Loten
Jul 10, 2017

Olo, a provider of e-commerce engines for restaurants which developed the ordering platform for Shake Shack’s app, said they worked closely with the chain to ensure users are able to choose an available pickup time, with prep times factored in so that cooked-to-order meals are timed to their arrival....., the app is one piece of abroader technology push, which includes digital tools aimed at improving back-end systems, like inventory, invoicing and other internal processes, she said.

But customer experience is still the most important element, she said.
Shake_Shack  digital_strategies  mobile_applications  fast-food  foot-traffic  upselling  restaurants  customer_experience 
july 2017 by jerryking
Fast-Food Chains, Upscale Restaurants Want to Bring You Lunch - WSJ
By Julie Jargon
Updated June 1, 2017

Restaurants are no longer treating lunchtime delivery as an afterthought.

With online-ordering apps proliferating and many customers cutting down on eating out for lunch, the industry—from fast-food chains to upscale restaurateurs—is looking for ways to bring food to patrons without compromising their eating experience.......“Restaurant delivery is a $100 billion dollar market, and it’s exploding,” ......But enticing customers to order in at lunch, which has been a tough spot for burger chains in particular, remains difficult. McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook told investors on Wednesday that 60% of the chain’s delivery orders come in the evening and late at night. Getting burger delivery right—keeping the patty warm and juicy, while preventing toppings from getting the bun soggy—is notoriously tricky.....Even upscale restaurants are joining the delivery bandwagon. Some are so confident they are even eschewing tables and chairs.......Delivery only accounts for 3% of restaurant purchases nationwide, but it is growing fast. Non-pizza delivery purchases have risen by 30% in the past four years, according to market-research firm NPD Group Inc.....The exponential growth of delivery comes with a new set of challenges. Some restaurants are struggling to figure out how to properly staff their kitchens to handle both in-store demand and delivery orders......Working with third-party delivery services is an expensive proposition, because many of them charge restaurants a hefty fee—usually a share of order sales ranging from 17% to 30%—to participate and the restaurants lose out on high-margin sales like alcohol and soft drinks that people tend to order when they are eating on the premises.......delivery is the future: “As driverless cars and drones become the norm I think we’ll all be emailing Amazon and getting a drone delivering a sandwich.”
restaurants  fast-food  fast-casual  Uber  UberEats  McDonald's  upscale  lunchtime  delivery_services  in-store 
june 2017 by jerryking
McDonald’s Decides to Embrace Fast-Food Identity - WSJ
By JULIE JARGON
Updated March 1, 2017

McDonald’s was losing customers to other fast-food chains, not to fast-casual restaurants serving healthier fare.

“We don’t need to be a different McDonald’s, but a better McDonald’s,” Lucy Brady, McDonald’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development, told investors Wednesday gathered in a warehouse near its new headquarters in downtown Chicago.

Critics have long been urging the chain to focus on its core customers, but McDonald’s had added more salads, snack wraps and oatmeal to its menu to attract health-conscious customers. In recent months the chain pulled many of those slow-selling products. It also had experimented with higher-priced burgers that failed.

Chasing new customers is a pitfall that’s hurt other fast-food restaurants.
McDonald's  fast-food 
march 2017 by jerryking
Inside the brutal transformation of Tim Hortons - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2017

Since taking over the iconic chain in 2014, its new Brazilian owner, 3G Capital, has purged head office, slashed costs and squeezed suppliers. Shareholders are happy, but is 3G tearing the heart out of Timmy’s?.....3G is regarded as ultra-disciplined owners who are sticking to the same playbook they have followed at companies including Burger King, Anheuser-Busch, Kraft Foods and Heinz: massive layoffs, replacing legacy managers with hungry youngsters and, above all, a fanatical devotion to financial benchmarks and cost-cutting. (It remains to be seen whether this will also be the approach for RBI’s latest acquisition, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.)....Will 3G's analytics-driven overhaul of Tim Hortons—using the same template the private equity firm’s founders have deployed at railroads, brewers and food makers—succeed in the long run, or is it in danger of cutting the heart out of a Canadian icon? ......Suppliers are also feeling the squeeze. From the get-go, RBI made it clear it would be reviewing vendor relationships. And the company pushed for better terms, including extensions on bill payments to as much as 120 days from 30 days or less. Maple Leaf Foods, a major partner that supplied meat to Tim Hortons, declined to accept the new terms, and walked away....
Former employees also say RBI has cut back on product research and development spending at Tim Hortons, offloading some of that work to suppliers. That’s not uncommon in the fast-food world, but it can be risky. “Suppliers can do a great job with innovating and R&D, but you’re limited to what the supplier is trying to develop,” ......3G has never encountered a brand quite like Tim Hortons. It isn’t just another coffee company. It is a Canadian destination, an integral part of many Canadians’ day and a brand that defines us, to some degree, around the world.......“The risk, in looking at Tim Hortons through the lens of efficiency alone, is to miss the greatest value of the asset, and that is the Tim’s brand and its deep connection to the fabric of the country,” says Joe Jackman, founder of strategic retail consultant Jackman Reinvents, whose clients have included Old Navy, Hertz, Rexall and FreshCo. “You can’t cost-cut your way to retail nirvana.”
3G_Capital  Tim_Hortons  Marina_Strauss  cost-cutting  head_offices  iconic  brands  organizational_culture  private_equity  layoffs  data_driven  franchising  transformational  fast-food  supply_chains  R&D  Canadiana  goodwill  JWT  community_support  downsizing  efficiencies  coffee  staying_hungry  cultural_touchpoints  restructurings  supply_chain_squeeze  RBI  playbooks 
february 2017 by jerryking
Why McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Was Years in the Making - Eater
by Tove Danovich Sep 25, 2015,

Most customers pay little attention to how the McGriddle is made, so to speak, but setting up a program like the all-day breakfast takes more than just marketing. In addition to years of talking about putting this plan into action, stores across the country spent months testing all-day breakfast and straightening out any flaws. Even once a plan was implemented, it was up to more than 3,000 owner-operators spread throughout the nation to upgrade and reorganize their kitchens for the menu change.
all-day  breakfasts  McDonald's  fast-food  QSR  operations  franchising 
january 2017 by jerryking
McDonald’s Table Service: Fast Food Redefined - WSJ
By JULIE JARGON
Nov. 18, 2016

More McDonald’s Corp. customers across the U.S. will be able to choose table service inside restaurants, in an attempt to provide something beyond what a traditional fast-food chain offers.

It is part of an effort central to revive the burger giant’s sales, which have flagged in recent quarters. Franchisees and analysts have been wondering what else McDonald’s would do to drive interest in a brand that has been struggling to re-establish its relevancy in a market where consumers have more choices than ever to get food, including burgers.

The company that derives nearly 70% of its sales from the drive-through is hoping changes to the restaurants themselves will help lift sales, according to McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski.....If the restaurants aren’t able to keep their stores clean and offer friendly service—two challenges that have plagued the company—having table service isn’t going to enhance the experience, said Darren Tristano, vice president at restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.

In addition to table service, the company is also installing free-standing kiosks inside the restaurants, which have proven successful in overseas markets including the U.K., France and Australia, according to the company, which said people tend to order more food when they don’t feel pressured to order at the counter. Customers can pay for their food at the kiosk and indicate whether they want table service.
McDonald's  fast-food  QSR  self-service  drive-throughs  kiosks  restaurants 
january 2017 by jerryking
Why Is the McFlurry Machine Down Again? - WSJ
By JULIE JARGON
Updated Jan. 19, 2017

Last year, downed ice cream machines became the most common service-related complaint among McDonald’s customers on Twitter, according to data analytics firm Quantifind, surpassing the previous year’s sore spot of poor employee attitudes.

McDonald’s doesn’t break out sales of specific menu items. Research firm Technomic Inc. says McFlurrys represent nearly 14% of McDonald’s dessert items that consumers 18 and older purchase for themselves. Other desserts include cookies, ice cream cones and fruit pies.

Joshua Reynolds, head of marketing and client consulting at Quantifind, estimates ice cream desserts make up 3% of the company’s U.S. sales. “I’m not sure how much of that $255 million is melting down the drain, but we know that’s what’s at risk,” he said.
breakdowns  downtime  McDonald's  Flybits  ice_cream  complaints  Quantifind  fast-food 
january 2017 by jerryking
Why McDonald's Shouldn't Rush Its Digital Platform -- The Motley Fool
Asit Sharma (TMFfinosus) Mar 23, 2016

McDonald's has been late to join quick-service operators in offering a mobile app. Consumers in the U.S. are developing an expectation that they can order, receive affinity (loyalty) points, and interact socially with a brand simultaneously on a mobile device, and McDonald's risks losing millennial customers if it doesn't gradually build its own system.... some risk in relation to a mobile-based affinity program. McDonald's already uses extensive national and regional promotions, through its evolving value menu and limited-time offers. Affinity programs, if not properly implemented, can become simply another discounting mechanism, and McDonald's doesn't need yet another window for passing on discounts. The point of a well-run affinity program is to mine data collected on customers to improve sales or profits, or both. ...an interesting problem that's delaying the introduction of an "order ahead and pay" component to the McDonald's app. Roughly two-thirds of McDonald's U.S. business is transacted at the drive-through. Theoretically, if a customer orders ahead on McDonald's mobile app to pick up food at the drive-through, it's self-defeating for that customer to wait behind other cars in the line.

The company is experimenting with solutions such as designated parking for drive-through customers who order ahead. In this scenario, a customer would wait in his or her car while an employee hand-delivers the order. This is functional, but you can see the implications for McDonald's throughput at peak hours, as employees leave their posts to wade out and make parking-lot deliveries.

McDonald's executives would be loath to admit it, but I'll wager that quandaries like this make them wonder if they really need to inject a digital platform into an operation that's been optimally refined over the course of decades.
McDonald's  digital_strategies  platforms  fast-food  operations  mobile_applications  QSR  drive-throughs  restaurants  millennials  self-defeating 
january 2017 by jerryking
McDonalds outlines four global growth priorities
May 29, 2014 | | Baking Business | Baking Industry News and Opinions | by Monica Watrous 
McDonald's  fast-food  growth  priorities 
january 2017 by jerryking
Changing face of fast food
 Fall 2015 | - Western Alumni | Daniel P. Smith
Changing face of fast food

by Daniel P. Smith
UWO  alumni  fast-food  fresh_produce  Freshii 
november 2015 by jerryking
The Shake Shack Economy - The New Yorker
JANUARY 26, 2015 ISSUE

The Shake Shack Economy
BY JAMES SUROWIECKI

Unlike traditional fast-food restaurants, fast-casuals emphasize fresh, natural, and often locally sourced ingredients. (Chipotle, for instance, tries to use only antibiotic-free meat.) Perhaps as a result, their food tends to taste better. It’s also more expensive. The average McDonald’s customer spends around five dollars a visit; the average Chipotle check is more than twice that. Fast-casual restaurants first emerged in serious numbers in the nineteen-nineties, and though the industry is just a fraction of the size of the traditional fast-food business, it has grown remarkably quickly. Today, according to the food-service consulting firm Technomic, it accounts for thirty-four billion dollars in sales. Since Chipotle went public, in 2006, its stock price has risen more than fifteen hundred per cent.

The rise of Chipotle and its peers isn’t just a business story. It’s a story about income distribution, changes in taste, and advances in technology. For most of the fast-food industry’s history, taste was a secondary consideration.
fast-casual  food  globalization  James_Surowiecki  shifting_tastes  entrepreneur  Danny_Meyer  Panera  Chipotle  fast-food  income_distribution  Shake_Shack 
january 2015 by jerryking
Freshii's founder aims to kill fast-food rivals with kale - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 09 2015

Eating well isn’t cheap. Profit margins – already notoriously slim in the restaurant industry – are more difficult to manage with fresh produce, which can spoil. Freshii aims to manage its inventory so that nothing is thrown away; the best-managed locations have to discard 10 to 20 per cent of their ingredients to maintain quality. When a location hits 30 or 40 per cent of its stock going unsold, it has to adjust very quickly.

Besides that, fresh food is simply more expensive, meaning that a chain such as Freshii is unable to offer the price points that the giants such as McDonald’s can. Its fixed-ingredient menu salads, bowls, burritos and wraps range from $6.50 to $9.50. Custom items start at $5.99 for wraps and burritos, and $6.99 for salads and soups, but the addition of premium ingredients, such as avocado (99 cents), kale ($1), tofu ($1.49), or shrimp ($2.49) pushes up the price. So does choosing more than six veggie toppings, and sauces, such as sriracha and peanut .
Freshii  fresh_produce  restaurants  fast-food  fast-casual  founders  CEOs 
january 2015 by jerryking
Diners show appetite for sustainability
June 20, 2013 | WSJ Supplement - Focus on Franchising | Julie Bennett
sustainability  greenhouses  green_roofs  fast-food  franchising  Boston 
november 2013 by jerryking
McDonald's to Promote Alternatives to Fries, Soda in Happy Meals - WSJ.com
September 26, 2013 | WSJ | By JULIE JARGON.
McDonald's to Offer Alternatives to Fries, Sodas
Hamburger Chain to Promote Milk, Juice With Happy Meals.

McDonald's Corp. plans to offer customers in its largest markets a choice of side salad, fruit or vegetable in place of French fries in its value meals and to push healthier beverages for its Happy Meals....Chief Executive Don Thompson pointed to past efforts by McDonald's to encourage kids to drink more milk in the mid-2000s, by advertising it more and using containers with vibrant colors. The chain's milk sales in the U.S. have increased by 50% since then, he said.

"We think we can influence the purchase of fruits and veggies," Mr. Thompson said in an interview. "We have a leadership role and we can be part of a solution. The average person eats at McDonald's three times a month."

The changes will be phased in to the 20 markets that represent 85% of McDonald's sales by 2020. Those markets include the U.S., China and the U.K.
McDonald's  fast-food  restaurants  salads  fresh_produce  fruits  vegetables 
september 2013 by jerryking
Yes, Healthful Fast Food Is Possible. But Edible?
April 3, 2013 |- NYTimes.com | By MARK BITTMAN

After the success of companies like Whole Foods, and healthful (or theoretically healthful) brands like Annie’s and Kashi, there’s now a market for a fast-food chain that’s not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane. And, this being fast food: cheap. “It is significant, and I do believe it is coming from consumer desire to have choices and more balance,” says Andy Barish, a restaurant analyst at Jefferies LLC, the investment bank. “And it’s not just the coasts anymore.” ...What I’d like is a place that serves only good options, where you don’t have to resist the junk food to order well, and where the food is real — by which I mean dishes that generally contain few ingredients and are recognizable to everyone, not just food technologists....In recent years, the fast-food industry has started to heed these new demands. Billions of dollars have been invested in more healthful fast-food options, and the financial incentives justify these expenditures. About half of all the money spent on food in the United States is for meals eaten outside the home. And last year McDonald’s earned $5.5 billion in profits on $88 billion in sales. If a competitor offered a more healthful option that was able to capture just a single percent of that market share, it would make $55 million. Chipotle, the best newcomer of the last generation, has beaten that 1 percent handily. Last year, sales approached $3 billion. In the fourth quarter, they grew by 17 percent over the same period in the previous year.

Numbers are tricky to pin down for more healthful options because the fast food industry doesn’t yet have a category for “healthful.”...Chipotle combines the best aspects of Nouveau Junk to create a new category that we might call Improved Fast Food. At Chipotle, the food is fresher and tastes much better than traditional fast food. The sourcing, production and cooking is generally of a higher level; and the overall experience is more pleasant. The guacamole really is made on premises, and the chicken (however tasteless) is cooked before your eyes. It’s fairly easy to eat vegan there, but those burritos can pack on the calories. As a competitor told me, “Several brands had a head start on [the Chipotle founder Steve] Ells, but he kicked their [expletive] with culture and quality. It’s not shabby for assembly-line steam-table Mexican food. It might be worth $10 billion right now.” (It is.)

Chipotle no longer stands alone in the Improved Fast Food world: Chop’t, Maoz, Freshii, Zoës Kitchen and several others all have their strong points. And — like Chipotle — they all have their limitations, starting with calories and fat.
...Veggie Grill, Lyfe Kitchen, Tender Greens and others have solved the challenge of bringing formerly upscale, plant-based foods to more of a mass audience. But the industry seems to be focused on a niche group that you might call the health-aware sector of the population. (If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in it.) Whole Foods has proved that you can build a publicly traded business, with $16 billion in market capitalization, by appealing to this niche. But fast food is, at its core, a class issue. Many people rely on that Tendercrisp because they need to, and our country’s fast-food problem won’t be solved — no matter how much innovation in vegan options or high-tech ovens — until the prices come down and this niche sector is no longer niche. ...Soda consumption is down; meat consumption is down; sales of organic foods are up; more people are expressing concern about G.M.O.s, additives, pesticides and animal welfare. The lines out the door — first at Chipotle and now at Maoz, Chop’t, Tender Greens and Veggie Grill — don’t lie. According to a report in Advertising Age, McDonald’s no longer ranks in the top 10 favorite restaurants of Millennials, a group that comprises as many as 80 million people.
Lyfe_Kitchen  Mark_Bittman  fast-food  Burger_King  Chipotle  plant-based  vegetables  fresh_produce  vegan  McDonald's  social_classes  perishables  Whole_Foods  millennials  fast-casual  new_categories 
april 2013 by jerryking
Branding basics: The signature dish
Feb 11, 2013 | Nation's Restaurant News | Laura Ries.

The restaurant industry invented a concept I believe should be copied by every other industry: the signature dish.

A signature dish helps c...
branding  foodservice  fast-food  casual_dining  restaurants  marketing  from notes
april 2013 by jerryking
Changing The Recipe Of A Signature Dish Can Be A Risk
March 2010 | QSR magazine | | By Daniel P. Smith.

remaking a signature dish is risky business. Who can forget the consumer backlash Coca-Cola encountered when it altered its recipe in 1985, reverting to its original formula after less than three months on the market with New Coke?

“Changing a signature recipe is a dangerous proposition because there’s risk involved,” says Mark Smith, a research and equity analyst for investment firm Feltl and Company who focuses specifically on restaurants. “Will franchisees be on board with the change? Will this change alienate heavy users?”
fast-food  innovation  chefs  menus  recipes  Domino's  foodservice  risks  QSR 
april 2013 by jerryking
As KFC Goes to Africa it Lacks Only One Thing: Chickens - WSJ.com
February 8, 2013 | WSJ | By DREW HINSHAW.
As KFC Goes to Africa it Lacks Only One Thing: Chickens

The reasons for expansion are clear: an emerging middle class on a continent where the total economy is set to grow at least 5% a year through 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund. The World Bank has estimated that food demand across Africa would double between 2012 and 2020.

But the continent's often small, bucket-irrigated farms will be hard pressed to feed its hungry consumers. "Growing demand for food in Africa is increasingly being met by imports," World Bank lead economist Paul Brenton wrote in a Jan. 8 report. "Clearly something has to change."
fast-food  Africa  KFC  Yum_Brands  chicken  restaurants  Ghana  farming 
april 2013 by jerryking
McDonald's and Other Fast-Food Chains Expand the Calendar - WSJ.com
March 5, 2013 | WSJ |By SARAH NASSAUER

The Calendar of Fast Food Restaurants Create New Seasons As Reasons to Indulge; Limited-Time Shakes...."Among the 250 largest chains in the U.S., limited-time offers have increased 25% over the last five years, according to the MenuMonitor created by Technomic, a food consulting and research firm.

Creating an unofficial calendar of limited-time fast foods can build anticipation. And consumers buy more when a limited-time offer is seasonal or linked to a specific holiday or event, say restaurants. "It's just fascinating how when leaves begin to turn consumers begin to think about pumpkin," says Mr. Costello from Dunkin' Brands. As winter approaches, people tend to have peppermint and chocolate on the brain, he says.

Even baseball season has become a peg for a new treat. Last May, Sonic's limited-time Hey Batter Batter Blast blended chocolate-chip cookie-dough batter and brownie batter with ice cream.

Spicier dishes make ideal limited-time offers because consumers may be curious about them, but not want to eat something spicy every day, say restaurants.
McDonald's  innovation  fast-food  restaurants  calendars 
march 2013 by jerryking
Chipotle, Panera Gaining Fast on McDonalds - WSJ.com
Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, so-called fast-casual restaurants, have posted solid results even as traditional fast-food chains like McDonald's and Yum

Chipotle facing a lot of higher food costs.
web_video  McDonald's  Panera  Chipotle  fast-food  commodities  fast-casual  Tex-Mex 
february 2013 by jerryking
Oil-handling firms pursue $10 M
May 18, 2001 | CityBusiness | Andrew Tellijohn
restaurants  fast-food  fats  foodservice 
january 2013 by jerryking
Fat Substitute, Once Praised, Is Pushed Out of the Kitchen -
February 13, 2005 | NYTimes.com | By KIM SEVERSON and MELANIE WARNER
fats  restaurants  palm_oil  oilseeds  food  fast-food 
december 2012 by jerryking
Chain co-founder journeys from flophouse to coffee house
October 16, 1998 | Globe & Mail | by Margot Gibb-Clark.

Frank O'Dea, co-founder of the coffee house chain Second Cup Ltd.
coffee  inspiration  bouncing_back  fast-food  restaurants  franchising  entrepreneur  alcoholism 
december 2012 by jerryking
Former McDonald's Honchos Take On Sustainable Cuisine
07.31.12 | Wired Business | Wired.com | By Frederick Kaufman.

At Lyfe Kitchen (the name is an acronym for Love Your Food Everyday), all the cookies shall be dairy-free, all the beef from grass-fed, humanely raised cows. At Lyfe Kitchen there shall be no butter, no cream, no white sugar, no white flour, no high-fructose corn syrup, no GMOs, no trans fats, no additives, and no need for alarm: There will still be plenty of burgers, not to mention manifold kegs of organic beer and carafes of biodynamic wine. None of this would seem surprising if we were talking about one or 10 or even 20 outposts nationwide. But Lyfe’s ambition is to open hundreds of restaurants around the country, in the span of just five years....On the journey that Roberts wants to take, organic food producers and Lyfe Kitchen will travel toward a realm of financial and foodie triumph. Success will be based on the strict market discipline that made fast food possible in the first place, a drill that can now extend beyond commodity beef, commodity wheat, commodity soybean oil, commodity sugar, and commodity potatoes. Market research Roberts did at McDonald’s convinced him that mothers, the dominant decisionmakers about mealtimes, are more focused than ever on healthy food. So this time around, brussels sprouts and quinoa will enter the picture. This time around, the end result—the food—will look and smell and taste more like an entré from some bistro in Brooklyn than a 30-second stop along Fast-Food Alley. But the process will be roughly the same, in that the problems of enormous scale can be solved through similar uses of technology, efficiency, and experience. “I would say that the pattern of this mosaic is very familiar,” Roberts says. “The strategy of the rollout, the people and their skill sets, the systems of training and hiring and finance and accounting and supply chain, the development of the property and real estate system—they are all very similar.”
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  food  McDonald's  rollouts  organic  Lyfe_Kitchen  fast-food  scaling  seasonality  fresh_produce 
august 2012 by jerryking
Smaller U.S. franchisers are looking overseas for growth - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2011 | WSJ | By ANGUS LOTEN. Smaller Franchisers Expand Their Horizons
A Smashburger in Kuwait? Here's why it makes sense.
franchising  globalization  fast-food  small_business 
november 2011 by jerryking
For Ex-Nurses, Real Money's in Takeout - NYTimes.com
By Louise Kramer
Published: April 4, 2004

Restaurants are notoriously challenging to run. An owner must juggle customer service, logistics, management, accounting and other tasks. In franchising, entrepreneurs buy into existing concepts and follow strict guidelines for operation in exchange for a fee and royalty payments on sales.
immigrants  franchising  Second_Acts  fast-food  New_York_City  owners  restaurants  Brooklyn  nursing  Caribbean 
november 2011 by jerryking
Cash Cows: Burger Joints Call Them 'Heavy Users' -- but Not to Their Faces
January 12, 2000 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | By JENNIFER ORDONEZ

The heavy user accounts for only one of five fast-food patrons -- but about 60% of all
visits to fast-food restaurants. By this definition, the heavy user accounted for roughly $66 billion of the
$110 billion the National Restaurant Association says was spent on fast food last year in the U.S.
Definitions of the heavy user vary, but by any measurement, Mr. Sheridan stands out. He spends as
much as $40 a day at fast-food restaurants. He sometimes visits them more than 20 times a month -- a
qualifying number for heavy-user status, according to a survey done by marketing firm Porter Novelli....Unlike frequent fliers and preferred shoppers, heavy users get little in the way of special treatment or
freebies. At fast-food restaurants, they stand in the same lines as everyone else, indistinguishable from
light users.
fast-food  hamburgers  McDonald's  Burger_King  KFC  customer_segmentation  cash_cows  disproportionality 
october 2011 by jerryking
Big Chains Try Food Trucks - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN
food_trucks  Sarah_E._Needleman  fast-food  Twitter  Facebook  franchising 
october 2010 by jerryking
Why KFC Franchisees Are Squawking
August 12, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Burt Helm. They feel
Yum! Brands is foolishly downplaying the chain's Southern fried image.
Possible lead for Pat?
franchising  disputes  City_Voice  Pat_Condon  fast-food 
august 2010 by jerryking
Chain Reactions - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 25, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | by KRIS MAHER.
growth  franchising  food  restaurants  fast-casual  fast-food 
february 2010 by jerryking
Union Square Cafe’s Danny Meyer Makes a Fast-Food Chain - NYTimes.com
December 15, 2009 | New York Times | By GLENN COLLINS.
Article focuses on the global-expansion vision of the Shake Shack, Danny
Meyer’s mini-chain of burger-and-custard stands.
Danny_Meyer  fast-food  growth  restauranteurs  hamburgers  Shake_Shack 
december 2009 by jerryking

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