Operations & People

Panera Bread Names Thomas Patrick Kelly Interim Chief Financial Officer

Panera Bread reported that Thomas Patrick Kelly would take the post of interim chief financial officer. The Panera Bread Board of Directors selected Kelly to replace Jeff Kipp, who resigned in March, on an interim basis.

The 1-2-3's of a QSR Drive-Thru Retrofit [Expert Corner]

This Quick Serve Leader Expert Corner explores the opportunities and best practices surrounding the retrofitting of locations with a drive-thru. Matt Vetter, River's Edge Project Management owner, discusses how his company has managed over 125 QSR

NRA Show 2012 Aims to Hook Attendees with Abundance of Education, Connections and Products [By the Numbers]

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (NRA) is to set to take place May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place in just a little over a month. The NRA Show 2012 is the restaurant industry's premier showcase for networking, connecting buyers with new products and learning and inspiring them for bigger and better things.

Shift the DNA of Your Hospitality Organization to Find Success in Diversity [Expert Corner]

In this installment of Quick Serve Leader's Expert Corner, we hear from Simma Lieberman on shifting the DNA of an organization to become more inclusive, and leveraging its human capital for increased business success. Lieberman is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant

Don Thompson Named McDonald's CEO, to Succeed Jim Skinner in July

McDonald's Board of Directors has named President and COO Don Thompson as the new chief executive of the no. 1 burger chain effective July 1. Thompson will succeed Vice Chairman and CEO Jim Skinner, who is retiring from McDonald's executive team and board June 30, after serving in the top role since 2004.

In its New Partnership, Acosta Sales & Marketing Enters Foodservice Channel

Acosta Sales & Marketing agreed to a foodservice channel partnership with Venture Sales Group (VSG), a U.S.-based sales agency focused on the Northeast. Acosta, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based sales and marketing agency venture company, will offer

More Hot Products at the 2012 New England Food Show

The 2012 New England Food Show (NEFS) brought together thousands of foodservice professionals, industry affiliates and suppliers under one roof at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center March 11-14. While the keynote speeches were both informative and inspiring

Shaich Returns to Panera Bread Operating Role as Co-CEO

Panera Bread said that Ron Shaich and Bill Moreton have transitioned to co-CEOs for the company effective immediately. The announcement is just shy of the two-year anniversary of Moreton becoming president and chief executive

Day Two of NEFS 2012: Packing A Punch With Gen Y Thoughts

With Boston forecasting a 65-degree day on Monday, the New England Food Show (NEFS) attendees expected some heat...but surprisingly, it came from energetic lessons and innovative products inside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Day One of the New England Food Show Hinted at Record Crowds, While Exhibitors Drew Smiles with Offers, Flavors

As Boston’s weather topped 50 degrees on Saturday and hit 71 on Sunday, the New England Food Show (NEFS) started off with some spring in its step. As early attendees mapped out walking strategies and bit into tasty treats from VivitelloBiscotti, the Mass. Restaurant Association tweeted

Boston Market Lands Sara Rosenberg Bittorf for Top Marketing Brand Role

Boston Market has named Sara Rosenberg Bittorf as its chief brand officer. She will start with the company on April 9. Her start will be timely, said the company, because it had gained momentum

Einstein Taps Brian Unger for Chief Restaurant Officer Post

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group tapped Brian Unger to the newly created position of Chief Restaurant Officer. The announcement comes less than one year from Unger's joining Einstein as executive vice president of Operations.

NRA Names 2012 Food and Beverage Product Innovations Award Recipients

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) named its 2012 Food and Beverage Product Innovations Award winners. The NRA's award recipients symbolize products that help operators to run better businesses

Church's Chicken Adds Mader and Barnett to Exec Team for Beefed-Up Expansion

Church's Chicken has beefed up its Business Development and Purchasing functions with the hiring of Michael Mader and John Barnett. Mader is being named senior vice president of Global Strategy, Planning and Alliances

OTTO Pizza Set to Open Brookline Shop

Otto Pizza's owners said they will open a new 60-seat table-service location in Brookline, Mass. in May. The newest Otto will take the storefront vacated by Friendly's Ice Cream.

Jones Soda Names James Stapleton as CFO

Jones Soda, which is known for its use of customer photos in its marketing and labeling, and bottles and distributes the Jones Soda, Jones Pure Cane Soda® and WhoopAss Energy Drink® brands, named James Stapleton as chief financial officer.

Quiznos Taps Agadi as Chairman, Announces New Board Members

Quiznos has named Harsha V. Agadi executive chairman of the Board of Managers. Mumbai-born Agadi is a 25-year foodservice veteran. His experience was honed at leading chains and food companies, including Domino's Pizza, Pepsi, Kraft, Church's Chicken, General Foods, Little Caesars Enterprises and Friendly's Ice Cream Co.

Despite Economy, Restaurant Sales in for a Recharge, Says Research Firm

Sales for the restaurant industry are projected to increase to $487B in 2012, a 4.2 percent increase, according to a recent study, layered over a 6.1 percent increase in 2011. A decrease of household debt is triggering increased discretionary income and consumer spending. Restaurant traffic increased 3 percent

Q&A: Boloco CEO John Pepper Talks Expansion, Leadership and (Not) Franchising

In 2004, a small Boston-based chain known as "The Wrap" reacquired the franchising and name licensing rights it had previously sold for expansion outside of New England. In 2005, after a lengthy brand analysis, The Wrap became Boloco, the "Inspired Burrito" chain. Despite the allure of franchising for accelerated growth, Boloco's CEO and one of its founding members, John Pepper,

Ryback Named P.F. Chang's Operating Chief

Twenty-year restaurant industry veteran Larry Ryback has been named as the new chief operating officer of the P.F. Chang's Bistro concept, the sister brand of Pei Wei Asian Diner.

Yum Brands Looks for Continued Opportunity in China

Yum's continued success in China plays off the economic growth of the country. What's not to be happy about when you posted 19 percent same-store sales growth for 2011? In a recent call with analysts regarding their Q4 results, execs recounted some milestones and growth. With over 626 Pizza Hut units and 3,701 KFCs deployed in China,

IHOP Shrinks Concept to Bring New Fast Casual to Consumers

IHOP brought its IHOP Express concept to San Diego this past summer. In opening the new compact,free-standing store, IHOP is shrinking its footprint to expand its trade channel opportunities and provide a fast casual experience to guests.

Wendy's, Yum Hinge Continued, Future Success on a Culture of Leadership

At a recent investor conference in New York, Wendy's highlighted three big expectations it said consumers were looking for in a "superior QSR:" great tasting food, a comfortable and clean environment, and friendly and engaging service. To meet the demands of the last point, Steve Farrar

Mass. ProStart Invitational Provides Key Skills and Picks Winners for National Competition

Each year, the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation (NRAEF) sponsors the ProStart Invitational®, a challenge that pits teams of high school culinarians against each other to see who can prepare a more creative three-course meal in only an hour.

Minardi Takes the Helm of International Ops for Dunkin' Brands

Giorgio Minardi has been named president, Dunkin' Brands International. Minardi will now be charged with expanding the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands abroad and creating the Dunkin' experience internationally

QSR Sales to Show Modest Growth, Operators Wise to Follow Recipe for Success, Says NRA

Quick serve restaurant (QSR) sales will grow to $173.8B, a 3.1 percent increase over 2011, says the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in its 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast: Decoding Consumers in a Challenging Economy. The study notes that QSR operators remain challenged

Sbarro Lures Greco, New Board Members for Italian Eatery's Turnaround

Sbarro has big plans for a turnaround as evident by its announcement that it will pick well-known industry leader, James Greco as its president and CEO effective immediately. It also names J. David Karam, formerly president of Wendy's International, to its Board of Directors,

The NRA Show 2012 Preview [Video]

The 2012 National Restaurant Association's (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will be held from May 5 - May 8 this year. The NRA's premiere annual event had originally been scheduled May 19 - May 22, but due to a conflict with the Global G8 and NATO Summit, will now be held on the new dates at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Toop Named Top Counsel at Wendy's

Wendy's has hired R. Scott Toop as its senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Toop will also become part of the Executive Leadership Team effective immediately. The 57-year-old veteran in QSR industry legal oversight, representation and strategic implementation,

Bill Clinton to Speak at NRA Show 2012 in Chicago

The announcement that former President Bill Clinton is the 2012 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show's latest guest speaker is sure to draw crowds this year. Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States and is the founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Train, Motivate Your Restaurant Team Members for Excellence [Expert Corner]

In this Expert Corner, Kelly Cockrell, organization and talent development manager at Whataburger, shares her best tips for motivating restaurant employees. Kelly has been in the business of training and people