The Fast Food Apocalypse is Here

The Fast Food Apocalypse is Here

It's no secret that several fast food chains that used to reign in the restaurant industry are now struggling to compete with the thousands on new innovative concepts offering guests an elevated experience, whether it be with the higher quality food product or dining experience. 

Even the quick-serve chain McDonald's, which has recently completed a brand revamp, said in a call last week that it's difficult to bring in customers due to the "market share fight." 

Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed expressed similar sentiments and also called the marketplace "very tough," after Taco Bell's new Nacho Fries didn't foster the sales they had hoped for. 

"You have to be really good to survive," said Michael Osanloo, CEO of PF Chang to "Business Insider.:

The industry has quickly been overpopulated with concepts, but Osanloo argues that in this market the bad restaurants just fail quicker. 

"It's been a constant dynamic. There are too many bad restaurants, for sure," said Osanloo. "And, I think what happens is that bad restaurants have really short shelf life. Good restaurants do really well."

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This QSR Turned Lifestyle Brand Partners with Forever 21

This QSR Turned Lifestyle Brand Partners with Forever 21

Taco Bell is known for being a fan favorite brand and has fostered a loyal following, especially with millennials. The QSR chain is making another move to appeal to this younger segment of the population. 

Taco Bell has released a clothing line that is available for a short time at Forever 21. The limited-edition fashion collection, release just last week, includes items for men, women and girls.

There are taco-themed jackets, sweatshirts, zesty bodysuits, and even cell phone cases available on the Forever 21 website. Prices for the items range from roughly $8 to $25.  

“Inspired by iconic graphics that each brand is known for and set against a mix of playfully vibrant prints, the collection features tops, bodysuits and cropped hoodies for women. For men, a sweatshirt, hoodie and anorak jacket are updated with pops of color and distinctive illustrations that effortlessly bring the heat. The exclusive collection also features select graphic tees, a pullover and hoodie for girls,” writes Taco Bell in a press release.

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Starbird Acquires Major Funding, Plans to Expand on the West Coast

Pullin up to work in the morning ain't so bad if this is what it looks like 👆🚘🍴 #SuperPremiumFastfood #Starbird

A photo posted by Starbird Chicken (@starbirdchicken) on

The premium fast food restaurant, Starbird has completed its second round of funding. After raising $5 million, the restaurant concept plans to expand elsewhere on the west coast.

The fast food restaurant currently has a location in Sunnyvale, CA and will soon be opening a location in Foster City, CA.

What makes Starbird a premium fast food restaurant? Well, the brand boasts serving tasty, wholesome food with unadulterated ingredients.

“Starbird further reimagines fast food to meet the needs of a new America with a wholesome menu featuring bold, craveable flavors and positively delicious chicken,” writes the Starbird brand.

The concept also has a 2.0 drive thru. The customers can use the restaurant’s app to order, pay and then their food will be delivered to their car. “An innovative ordering app transforms the traditional drive-thru experience creating a world where eating conveniently and nutritiously are not at odds.”

The investor group funding the concept is made of several restaurant CEOs and private equity individuals. The largest outside investor is Greg Dollarhyde, former CEO at Veggie Grill and Baja Fresh and investor in Zoe’s Kitchen.

“We are excited to announce this next phase of development and to have Greg involved,” said Aaron Noveshen, president and CEO in a press release. “At Starbird we are working to transform the dull fast food landscape by utilizing super premium ingredients and evolving the traditional drive-thru experience with our mobile ordering and car-side delivery app. The response from the community has been extremely positive and we are thrilled to expand to a larger audience.”

The Culinary Edge Incubates New Restaurant Concepts 

The Culinary Edge (TCE) developed the San Francisco-based restaurant. Aaron Noveshen, Stephen Goldmann, and Steven Goldstein founded The Culinary Edge Ventures (TCEV,) an incubator for new dining concepts. Noveshen was the co-founder of the private equity firm that developed Pacific Catch, a seafood chain in California.  

Starbird was the first of the concepts incubated by TCEV and opened in June 2016. The second location will be opened early in 2017 and the group is going to use the new funding to open more locations in 2017.

Starbird is one of the QSR Plus concepts gaining momentum in the market. With the emergence of fast casual segment, consumers have realized they don’t have to settle for low quality food to get it fast and in a convenient manner. So many QSRs have morphed into a QSR Plus format to compete with this market. Do you think QSR Plus will become the new QSR norm? Are premium fast food brands like Starbird, the first of many?

Wendy’s Promotes Freshness with New Video Series

Wendy’s Promotes Freshness with New Video Series

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The quick-serve chain, Wendy’s has had a lot of different slogans since it was founded in 1969, including ­– “Quality Is Our Recipe” (the slogan and current that also remains on Wendy’s logo today,) “Choose Fresh, choose Wendy's,” It's way better than fast food... It's Wendy's,” “You know when it's real,” and “It's not just fast food; it's fresh food, made fast.”

When the brand isn’t promoting their juicy hamburgers, they are emphasizing their fresh ingredients.

Fresh ingredients have always been included in their mission statement: “Our promise is to only use the freshest ingredients to create the best-tasting food for you. Quality is our promise and our recipe,” according to the brand’s website.

How the Brand is Using Content Marketing to Represent Freshness

Now the fast food chain is taking it a step further with the video series, “Profiles in Quality” the first video Lettuce... From Start to Fresh takes the viewers on a tour of Wendy’s lettuce supply chain.

Suppliers of the fast food restaurant, Tom and Steve Church of Church Brothers Farms discuss the values and standards of their farm. This family-owned farm supplies Wendy’s with salad ingredients, including spring mix, romaine and iceberg lettuce.

The video tells the endearing story of the Church Brothers Farm, but also boasts about Wendy’s food safety procedures.

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