Several U.S. restaurant concepts have found success expanding into China, but there are cultural and legal obstacles that prove too tough for others to overcome, writes Wen-Szu Lin. His book, "The China Twist," details his failed effort to build an Auntie Anne's Pretzels franchise in China.
Restaurants now make $19.3 billion in annual revenue from catering, compared to about $4 billion for retailers, according to Technomic, and fast-casual chains are seeing the biggest growth as companies look to offer high-quality food on a budget. "With the current economy, fast casual restaurants are the perfect option to meet both needs," said Capriotti's executive Jason Smylie.
Checkers CEO Rick Silva had to be convinced to do the segment of "Undercover Boss" that ran earlier this year but said his appearance proved the right move, yielding the equivalent of $20 million in advertising for the chain.
Mimi's has dropped the "Cafe" from its name with the debut of a new prototype that blends quickservice, fast-casual and casual dining in one Parisian-themed place. "We’re creating a new business model, extending Mimi’s brand to be relevant and contemporary for today’s guests,” Mark Mears, president and chief concept officer of the 34-year-old chain, said.
McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts have applied for trademarks on their signature coffee products in recent weeks. McDonald's move set off speculation that the chain is looking to enter the retail bean market, while Dunkin's more ambitious application looks to trademark the slogan "Best Coffee in America."