2013 was quite the year for the restaurant industry. Taco Bell made a splash with its much-anticipated Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos launch and Smashburger bowed its first TV campaign.  Other big news was made by McDonald’s, Chipotle, Starbucks, and Panera – and then there was the non-news of KFC’s Original Recipe boneless chicken. Check […]

2012 did not disappoint in terms of exciting brand developments.  (I wrote about the seven fast food chains making headlines in my latest QSR Magazine column.  Check out my recap of the news at Burger King and Pie Five among others.)  Among the brands in a range of categories making bold moves in 2012 were […]

(Welcome to my new Brand Experience Brief — these videos provide insights and analysis on new and interesting restaurant and retail concepts.) Many fast-casual restaurant start-ups are trying to copy Chipotle, so it’s refreshing to experience one that does things it’s own way.  Pei Wei Asian Market, the newest concept from P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, offers a cool […]

If, as they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, fast casual restaurants should be flattered by the recent efforts of McDonald’s and other quick-serve restaurants.  Many fast feeders are trying to emulate chains like Chipotle, Smashburger, and Panera, since fast casual players have stolen share from them for the last couple of years […]

Hi folks!  Trying a new feature this year — a monthly round-up of my published content. It’s a mental buffet of ideas that may seem schizophrenic at times (I do work on fast food restaurants as well as fitness brands, after all!), but it’s all in the service of helping companies understand and apply the […]

2012, according to the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Dragon.  In Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to a specific animal and predictions for 2012 are for a dragon-like year of excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration, and intensity. With this expectation in mind, I’ve selected several brands to keep my eye on.  They’re likely to […]

Last week David Ristau, the analyst who publishes daily stock recommendations in The Oxen Report, weighed in on the fast/casual dining industry with predictions for 10 fast/casual companies in the coming year. Chipotle, McDonald’s, and Domino’s were among the companies he analyzed based on growth, profitability, financial health, value, and management. […]

DLYohn America’s Next Great Restaurant 05.01.11 Finale Recap from Denise Lee Yohn on Vimeo. For important takeaways for aspiring restaurateurs and other entrepreneurs, check out the full series of my show recaps: engage your employees with your brand — episode 8 deciding what NOT to do — episode 7 the customer isn’t always right — […]