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 […]

brand-as-business bit:  There’s been a lot of activity in the fast food world these days:  Burger King just launched a new menu and ad campaign, Wendy’s introduced a new tagline and campaign, and Taco Bell is experimenting with a new menu and tagline. My colleagues over at E-Poll and I thought it would be helpful […]

(Here’s the latest in a series of “Brand Experience Briefs” — reports with insights and analysis of new and interesting restaurant and retail concepts.) The Habit is one of the many “better burger” chains generating a lot of buzz these days. Although its charburgers do taste good, the company needs to work harder to differentiate the brand […]

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 […]

(Welcome to the latest “brand experience brief” — insights from my audits of new and interesting retail and restaurant concepts.) What:  ihop express test concept from the 1500-unit casual dining chain, IHOP targeted to “Millennials who don’t do breakfast,” the format is intended to give the younger target “an on-the-go option” since they don’t go […]

The new laws popping up which require restaurants to post calorie counts next to food listings have me concerned. This may come as a surprise to those who know me – after all, I am a fitness enthusiast and I try to practice healthy eating.   So the nutritional content of food is really important to […]

Attention:  fast food marketers – you’re wasting half of your advertising! But I’m not talking about the waste that John Wanamaker was referring to in his famous quip about not knowing which half of his advertising was being wasted.  I’m talking about the average of 48% of people who say there’s a big difference between […]