Operations & People + Franchise & Licensing

Will 'Justice' Be Served to Burger King's Franchisees?

The complex deal that will bring Burger King to the public equity markets once again sounds like a fairy tale. Justice is offering up $1.4B in exchange for a 25.7 percent stake, leaving 3G Capital with 70.7 percent, and controlling interest in, and management of, the chain, but on the surface it appears premature.

The number two burger chain in the United States, based on number of units, will need the support of its franchisees

The Top Five Limited-Service Burger Chains Offer Five Lessons for QSRs

Based on sales, the top five traditional (fast food) burger chains posted a collective 1.4 percent increase in sales, after a few years of declines, and drew a lot of interest in the media and in the investment community. As "better burger chains" continued to gain traction, and these newer fast casual burger joints came into their own, the traditional fast food burger chains were successful too.

Exec Q&A: Saladworks CEO John Scardapane Rides Freshness, Options, Franchising to Grow Salad Chain

Saladworks posted same store sales increases of eight percent last year, and in this year's first quarter saw same store sales surge 16 percent. In this Quick Serve Leader interview John Scardapane, Chairman and CEO of Saladworks, sheds some light on the company's menu and expansion initiatives, and its differentiated franchising program.

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.

Smashburger Opens in Kuwait, First Store in Georgetown Advisors Multi-Unit Deal in Middle East

Smashburger opened its first international location in Kuwait at The Village, Abu Al Hasaniya, with franchise owner Yousef Al Essa and Kuwait regional franchise partner, Georgetown Advisors. A Kuwaiti-owned boutique development firm in the commerical segment,

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

Sarku Japan Eyes Accelerated Domestic and International Expansion on the Wings of its Teppanyaki Fare

In just a few short years, Sarku Japan has become a force to be reckoned with in the Asian-style QSR segment. Its prepared-to-order menu offerings attract crowds at its mall food court and in-line locations. In Chicago, Sarku Japan has several locations displaying its contemporary storefront model that is more upscale and "fast casual-like," than its mall locations.

Papa John’s Names 2011 Franchise Operators of the Year

Papa John's named its 2011 Franchise Operators of the Year. Each winner was honored at the annual Papa John's Operator Conference and received a $20,000 cash award, along with a trophy.

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.

IMC Deal Gives Carl's Jr. a Brand Presence in Latin America

CKE Restaurants. has signed an agreement with Airport Shoppes Corp., a subsidiary of International Meal Company (IMC) to expand into Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Puerto Rico.

Chains Eye Brazil for Expansion and Growth

Brazil overtook the United Kingdom last year as the world's sixth largest economy, according to the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in a recent BBC news article¹. Brazil, now with a population of about 200 million, grew its economy 7.5 percent in 2010, though it is now curtailing its growth projections.

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,

UFood Restaurant Group Lands Deal for Co-Branded Airport Stores

In UFood Restaurant's continued expansion initiatives, it has found a new partner. The health-centric fast casual chain serving up "better for you" food, has partnered with Euro Café for several co-branded locations with concessionaire Hudson News.

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.

b.good Burger Chain Readies First Franchising Program for Expansion

The opportunity couldn't be "hotter" for better burger chains, if 2011 is any indication. This past year continued to see rapid growth, particularly for fast casual better burger chains. And data for 2010 shows the fast casual chains in this segment posted sales increases of more than 16 percent and unit growth of nearly 17 percent¹. b.good is one such chain

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.

Smashburger Lands Deal for South American Expansion, Opening in Costa Rica

Costa Rica consumers will see their first Smashburger in 2012. The Denver-based Smashburger  chain says it has reached an agreement with QSR International to grow the brand in Latin America. QSR International, which is led by restaurateur Richard Eisenberg, a franchise veteran with deep South American expertise

Franchising to Spark Growth of La Madeleine

La Madeleine Country French Café announced its franchising program at the end of October. The group is now 60 cafés strong in urban strongholds like Washington, D.C., Dallas, Texas, and across pockets of metro-Atlanta and Louisiana. Groupe Le Duff acquired the brand in 2006, about 20 years after it was founded by Patrick Leon Esquerré.

Q&A: Orange Leaf's Chief Talks Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt, Family, and Franchising

When Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt CEO Reese Travis took the company’s helm, the self-serve frozen yogurt concept had only 15 stores. The chain now has 115 units across the country with a high concentration concentrated in the Midwest and East.

Subway Chain to Open Second San Diego Cafe Concept Store in Mission Hills

Subway will open a second café concept location in San Diego, Calif. this week. Franchise partners Raghu and Rohit Marwaha already operate a Subway Café store at 1111 6th Ave in the bustling Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego.

Corner Bakery Strikes Seven-Year Deal with Buon for California Expansion

Corner Bakery Cafe has signed a franchising deal with Buon Hospitality for expansion into Northern California. Buon is led by Sam Hirbod, chief executive and president of Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC.

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

Chain Leaders Use Retail Licensing to Grow Revenues, Brand Engagement

Retail licensing and consumer packaging of restaurant label brands continue to comprise an explosive revenue category for restaurants. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) licensing revenue for Starbucks will exceed one billion dollars this year¹ and represents nearly nine percent of total revenues.