Consumers want the restaurants they frequent to use the technology they're familiar with to offer faster service, according to a recent Technomic survey. A growing number of eateries are obliging, with mobile and social ordering options, iPad ordering kiosks, tabletop checkout and several other tools.
CEO Frank Paci launched into a revamp when he took the reins at McAlister's Deli in 2010, simultaneously upgrading ingredients and service in a strategy that's paid off in nine consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. "A lot of our business comes from lunchtime, and a lot of people are limited with the time they have. If it’s taking too long and you’re not able to enjoy your lunch, it’s something that’s degrading the experience," Paci said.
Chicken popped up in new ways on more quickservice menus this year, from Burger King's roll-out of its most ambitious chicken menu to new premium sandwiches at Wendy's and Sonic to McDonald's chicken snacks. The list of diverse menu trends also includes the continuing popularity of bacon, the rise in snacking and the return to indulgent desserts.
Given the unprecedented popularity of Taco Bell's Doritos nacho cheese taco shell -- it has been the most successful product launch in the company's history -- the company is testing two new Doritos Locos taco shell flavors: a Flamas shell with a chili lime flavor and a Cool Ranch flavor. Taco Bell is currently trying out the new flavors across various regions but has not yet said when the new Doritos shells might appear.