Executive round table: Fast casual segment leaders make their 2015 predictions

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Local marketing, local sourcing, mobile technologies and customer service initiatives are all expected to move to the front burner in the New Year.

FEATURES


Rearview 2014: Mobile helps brands reduce friction, stay connected

Mobile technology helped brands reduce friction and connect with customers in 2014.

Rearview 2014: Cause marketing moves from fundraising to partnerships

Cause marketing went to the next level in 2014, beyond raising awareness and funds for a cause to deep partnerships between restaurants and non-profits.

Rearview 2014: Millennials take the wheel

As more and more of their contemporaries move into leadership roles, millennials are moving from the passenger side to the driver's seat.

Rearview 2014: Fast Casual is kind of a Big Deal

The theme was clear in 2014, just as it's been for several years running: Fast casual restaurants are winning. Consumers are drawn to the segment's quality, ambiance and value.

Digital strategy produces 119% jump in Tijuana Flats' online ordering

A simplified website, local SEO optimization, Pandora ads and special events for bloggers helped lift sales and drive traffic to Tijuana Flats stores.

The four 'Cs' driving Jason's Deli's success

Jason's Deli racks up around $2.5M in AUVs. It's achieving that success by sticking with its core strengths, listening to customers, maintaining control and building strong company culture.

Dickey's in the spotlight for cooking competition show

Dickey's will be the latest brand featured in TNT's cooking competition show "On the Menu." The winning dish will debut as an LTO the day after the episode airs.

'Black Friday' a boon to restaurants, too

Mall-based restaurants can see a significant spike in sales around the holiday season, bolstered by high traffic volumes and consumers' desire for indulgence.

Smashburger CMO: Better burgers are here to stay

Smashburger grew by about 20 percent this year, and it's likely it will continue that pace next year, according to newly-appointed CMO Josh Kern.

Of note on social media: Panda Express 'joy spotting' campaign

An eight-hour social media campaign yielded a 389-percent increase in mentions of the brand on Twitter and a 24-percent increase in followers.

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NEWS


Marriott launches food and beverage incubator

Mariott is inviting entrepreneurs, chefs, bartenders and artisans to visit canvas-startup.com and pitch a food or drink concept for a select group of Marriott hotels.

Mission Burrito rebrands as 'Überrito'

The name change is the first step in a three-step process that will include revamping the décor in four existing Houston-area units and developing new markets.

Cowboy Chicken adds Razzleberry Tea

Cowboy Chicken's new Razzleberry Tea is available at all Cowboy Chicken locations for a limited time and is freshly brewed from tea leaves infused with raspberries and blackberries.

BURGERFI matching gift card purchases with gift to American Red Cross

BURGERFI will make a dollar-for-dollar matching donation to the American Red Cross for every gift card purchased through Dec. 31.

Jimmy John's, Chipotle rank high for millennial loyalty

According to new research from YouGov, Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and Whataburger, have the highest current millennial customer loyalty among all major limited-service brands from throughout the past six months. According to a news release, the research looked at purchase...

bogopogo launches restaurant mobile coupon plan

bogopogo has launched its FRAMPLE (Free + Sample) plan, providing free mobile coupon access to all restaurants across the US and allowing them to promote their best restaurant deal. "This changes everything. Now every restaurant in America can communicate their...

Pie Five marks second DC area location

Pie Five Pizza will open its newest restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, on Friday. This will be the brand's second location in the Virginia/Washington, DC, market. Its first opened in Richmond, Virginia, in May. The Sterling restaurant is located in the Sugarland Plaza Shopping Center.

Pizza Studio continues SoCal expansion

Pizza Studio is opening its 26th store today, located in Compton, California's Gateway Towne Center. Compton city officials will be on hand for an official ribbon cutting ceremony. The opening marks the third Pizza Studio for franchisee Neal Perlmutter, who...

Billy Sims BBQ opens 44th location

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based chain opened 11 new restaurants in 2014.

Pie Five continues food pantry campaign for newest Wichita opening

Pie Five Pizza Co. has opened its newest Wichita, Kansas, restaurant on Rock Road, across from Bradley Fair.

Jersey Mike's supports Wreaths Across America tribute

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Jersey Mike’s Founder and CEO Peter Cancro honored veterans at a special ceremony on Ellis Island. The tribute was part of the nonprofit Wreaths Across America’s annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine, to...

Millennial marketing conference registration now open

FutureCast's ShareLikeBuy millennial marketing conference is set for Feb. 4 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Researchers use text-mining software to predict success, failure of DC restaurants

The computer-assisted text analysis was more accurate at predicting restaurants' demise than ratings alone (although it is most powerful when used in combination with numerical ratings).

Dickey's opens two new restaurants in Florida, California

Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants announced it will open two new units on Dec. 18, one on the Florida Panhandle and the other in California.

Consumer demand for convenience shifting restaurant priorities

As restaurant brands increasingly jockey for more consumer visits, it's more important than ever for operators to keep a strong pulse on what their customers are looking for when they dine out. According to new research from The NPD Group,...

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