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 […]

(Get the inside scoop on new and interesting retail and restaurant concepts with my Brand Experience Briefs — here’s the latest.) Wired magazine recently reported on a new restaurant concept that aims “not just to build a radically sustainable, healthy brand of fast food…[but] to transform the way the world produces organic ingredients, doing for […]

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. […]

I usually try to keep my critiques to categories I’ve worked in, primarily because I think it’s irresponsible for me to comment on what works and what doesn’t when I have little basis for my assessment other than being a consumer.  So I initially demurred when some folks have asked for my POV on AT&T’s […]

Apparently my “Outside Insights” column, How to Defeat McDonald’s**,  on QSR Magazine‘s home page has prompted concern among the folks at McDonald’s.  It was intended as a service piece for fast feeders looking for insights on how to establish competitive advantage — but the Golden Arches media relations team seems to view it as a […]

I walked into a Bruegger’s Bagels shop, I handed the clerk a piece of paper that told him what I wanted, I watched as he filled the bag, and I walked out of there — all in less than 30 seconds. […]

In preparing to launch my blog, I researched a lot of existing ones to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.  As a brand person, I was particularly interested in whether or not brands themselves had blogs.  I looked at a sampling […]