SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

3 Ways Restaurant Operations Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Frank Barcelona

Nov 18, 2016 11:30:00 AM

No matter what the goals of your restaurant chain may be, rest assured that you won't achieve them without customer satisfaction. There's not enough volume to depend on one-and-done visitors, so each facet of the company shares responsibility for coaxing those visitors back. Smart managers understand that while most operational work is done "behind the scenes," that work has a large impact — positive or negative —on that all-important customer satisfaction metric. Operational managers at all levels need to incorporate customer satisfaction into their workflow decisions, even if their actions don't have any direct and immediate customer impact.

There are three basic areas where restaurant operations and counter-level customer service overlap.

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain

When It Comes to Sous Vide, Accept No Substitute

Posted by Alan Riney

Oct 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

The complicated inverse relationship between time and flavor in quick service has spurred a number of kitchen innovations — like the conveyor-belt oven or new freezing techniques — that have been perfected over the years. With an audience of hungry customers who are low on time, but still toting high expectations, prep staff is having to work harder than ever to make their QSR chains stand out today.

Like most procurement and counter-delivered solutions in the fast food industry, for every true innovation, there's a host of pretenders to the throne, particularly when new and exciting trends emerge. Sous vide is one of those breakout game-changers, but restaurant managers must be wary. If you’re not getting the real deal, you risk falling short on both sides of the counter.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Supply Chain

4 Things Every Quick Service Restaurants Should Look for in a Breakfast Meat Supplier

Posted by Olga Bitsakis

Sep 30, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Looking to take advantage of the hot quick service breakfast market? You need a reliable vendor to supply your fast food restaurant with the breakfast meat it needs. But what should a QSR supply chain manager or chef look for in a breakfast meat supplier? Are there common characteristics that you could use to narrow the field and find the right vendor partner?

Today, let’s examine 4 things quick service restaurants should require of a breakfast meat supplier —  before they sign a vending contract.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Breakfast, Supply Chain

A Smart QSR Supply Chain Builds on Crossover Potential

Posted by Dan Barton

Sep 19, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Breakfast is the latest daypart buzzword in the QSR industry, but successful chains realize that expanding early morning offerings doesn't mean reinventing the wheel. While there are undoubtedly components to in-demand breakfast menu items that will be unique to your supply chain, you might be surprised to learn how much crossover you can consciously infuse into procurement. When it comes to pulling stock reliability up and driving procurement costs down, dayparts that "bleed" into one another might just be the best supply chain decision your brand can make.

Here's how you can make your supply chain — and your menu — work double duty after sunrise.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Supply Chain

QSR Companies Who Are Innovating the Breakfast Supply Chain

Posted by Jeff Cowles

Sep 12, 2016 11:30:00 AM

If your morning market share could use a strong cup of coffee, chances are you're slipping when it comes to breakfast. Appealing to the sensibilities of the early morning crowd's hunger is the "moving target" of the QSR industry. While lunchtime and even dinnertime palates are a little flexible, few American consumers care to venture too far afield when it comes to the day's first sustenance. That presents an interesting challenge for QSR breakfast purveyors. Not only do they have to prove themselves in the normal arenas of customer hearts and minds — variety, taste and value — they also have to prove they're a better place to spend precious minutes in a hectic morning routine.

What's an upstart chain to do in such a volatile battlefield? Look to the — pardon the pun — well-seasoned veterans of the breakfast battle.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Supply Chain, Breakfast

The QSR Industry Needs a Better Supply Chain to Succeed at Breakfast

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Sep 6, 2016 11:30:00 AM

You've likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but does that energy-boosting repast do the same for the business serving it up? In the QSR industry, the answer is, increasingly, affirmative. Eager to turn a profit on hungry customers kick-starting their busy schedules, the industry has been looking to reinvent itself as a morning ritual that extends beyond a quick cup of coffee at the drive-thru. With a glut of fast food options on the market, however, where can one restaurant differentiate itself over a competitor? Surprisingly, it’s the supply chain that can make all the difference.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Supply Chain

Supply Chain Trends Every Quick-Service Restaurant Needs to Know

Posted by Dan Barton

Sep 2, 2016 11:30:00 AM

This blog was originally published on Supply Chain World magazine's editors blog.

Fast food has become the new battlefield for sales, the new frontier for customer-alluring innovations in edibles, and supply chain professionals have taken competition to new heights. Some QSR trends, in particular, are responsible for notching the proverbial bar ever-skyward, with smaller, upstart chains threatening to outpace larger, established competitors on niche offerings and supply chain agility alone. Ignoring these trends is no longer a viable operational option. No matter what your menu hinges on, there is always room to smoothly work in new creations, or tweak your supply chain for efficiency. As you fight to keep your brand on top in the QSR wars, there are three prominent trends that you need to be aware of.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Food Service, Trends, Supply Chain

How to Build a Supply Chain That Can Tackle the Challenges of QSR Breakfast

Posted by Dan Barton

Aug 15, 2016 11:30:00 AM

This piece was originally published on Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

Breakfast is becoming a sandbox for QSR innovation in new food and new processes. Demands for fresh fare, locally sourced produce and specialty versions of classic ingredients are clamoring for their turn in the spotlight, and customers are enthusiastically partaking. These new eating trends come with logistics demands of their own, but when you factor in the call for longer "breakfast" times, it becomes even more challenging. With new products and new demand windows on the horizon, can your current sourcing and logistics keep pace with QSR industry challenges? The most in-demand item on your supply chain breakfast menu should be a heaping scoop of agility.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Food Service, Supply Chain

Supply Chain Fundamentals QSR Must Master to Succeed at Breakfast

Posted by Chris Dixon

Jul 15, 2016 11:30:00 AM

It's 8am — or maybe even earlier. Your customers may be awake by the strictest definition of the word, but most of the time your drive-thru or counter service items are the real kick-start to their morning. With grogginess comes habit, and with habit comes a rare opportunity to forge a brand loyalty bond, one breakfast item at a time.

That's why QSR breakfast items have made some seriously impressive headway in the industry during the last year alone. Heavy hitters are making big changes: McDonald's has finally relented on their "after 10am" breakfast moratorium, and surprising early-morning contributions are popping up from the lunch-and-later players like Taco Bell. With competition old and new eyeing up your morning crowd and QSR industry challenges as prevalent as ever, what's the best way to remain competitive during breakfast hours?

There are three methods that are easy to implement, but offer an outsized positive impact.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Supply Chain, Food Service

Does Your Fast Food Supply Chain Hit Consumers’ Sustainability Goals?

Posted by Jeff Cowles

Jun 20, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The speed with which the food sustainability movement captured the attention of consumers surely took many in the fast food industry by surprise and left not a few supply chain managers scrambling.

As Tove Danovich aptly wrote in Eater, “Not too long ago, people who identified as ‘vegetarian’ in the United States were often met with cockeyed stares and questions like, ‘but you can eat chicken, right?’ Animal welfare was a term applied to dogs and cats — not farm animals.”

Formerly niche food categories — all organic, cruelty-free, sustainably raised, non-GMO, gluten-free — quickly rose to the forefront of American consumer consciousness. Some of that may be attributable to Millennials’ coming of age, but is all of it?

Most likely not.

Read More

Topics: QSR, Sustainability, Supply Chain, Food Service