Valerie Killifer / As the founder of P-O-P Content & Communications, Valerie Killifer brings her passion for creative thinking and relationship development to the forefront of her business. She spent 15 years as a professional journalist and continues to write about the brands, people and trends impacting the restaurant industry.
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Yelp taking health inspections mainstream

While restaurant operators continue to maintain food safety practices, health inspection records are finding their way onto very public domains.

5 ways for restaurant owners to achieve brand relevance

Chains must have Industry, Community, Target, Brand and Value relevance.

Restaurant operators must move from the Technology Age into the Transformation Decade

Futurist David Houle told restaurant operators at the Fast Casual Executive Summit how to stay relevant in the 'Shift age.'

How the 'meaning at work' affects fast casual employees

Employees who find "meaning at work" are likely to be more productive, loyal and more engaged with the brand.

Paving the way for leadership success

Embrace times of transition with these five steps.

Brazilian chain Giraffas eyes U.S. growth

How a leading Brazilian quick-service chain plans to expand with a fast casual model for U.S. consumers.

The changing role of corporate consciousness

How fast casual CEOs are turning an enlightened approach to sales success.

The new direction of digital technology

With smartphone adoption outpacing the PC revolution and Internet boom, restaurant operators have increased opportunity to reach every guest.

Higher menu prices boost earnings, but can it last?

Operators prepare for higher food costs as droughts continue in the Midwest and overseas competition threatens the U.S. food supply. 

Panera Bread sales success boosted by investment initiatives

The company sees gains at it continues to improve marketing, catering, operational and food quality.

Chipotle shifts marketing approach, reports 8% comps increase

While revenue and same-store sales rise, the company shifts focus to local marketing initiatives.

Chefs form program to aid women, children in Haiti

How Chefs4Kids is finding a way to teach impoverished women in Haiti how to run a business.

Panera Bread takes a marketing stand

When Panera Bread became the first major advertiser on, a popular website for women, the executive team was more than enthusiastic. However, their enthusiasm turned to dismay when Panera Bread discovered the website's editors were being asked to click...

Chicago gets fourth Panera Cares cafe

Chicago is joining Dearborn, Mich., Clayton, Mo., and Portland, Ore., as cities featuring a Panera Cares Community Cafe. The company is turning its Chicago location on Diversey Parkway into the Panera Cares pay-what-can model.

The 2012 Fast Casual Top Movers and Shakers [Infographic]

The top restaurant chains, people, trends and technologies shaping the fast casual segment.

Penn Station franchisees victims of data breach

Penn Station, Inc. and some of its franchisees have learned of unauthorized access to credit and debit card information in certain franchisee-owned Penn Station East Coast Subs restaurants.

PCI webinar discusses reputation management, systemwide compliance

The enforcement of PCI compliance can be difficult for franchisors to navigate who are looking to establish cooperation across their franchise system. In the webinar, "How much is your brand reputation worth? The cost of PCI compliance," presented by

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill to expand outside home state

Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is expanding outside of its home state for the first time since the chain's launch in 2007. Through an agreement with Texas-based franchisee Blue Jean Food Group (BJFG), up to 15 new units will open throughout...

2012 Top 100 Movers & Shakers: Smashburger No. 1

When Smashburger opened its first unit in 2007, the better burger category was just beginning to emerge. Five years later, Smashburger is an industry leader and has moved both the better burger and fast casual segments forward in major ways....

McAlister's Deli unveils new look

The chain's new store design includes a tea bar and has been unveiled at two new locations.

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