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Log In / Register | Dec 14, 2017

Quizno's at Cutting Block. Bidders Hungry.

Quizno’s has been put on the cutting block and will be auctioned off by the Goldman Sach’s Group. And what’s the expected special price of the sandwich chain? The word on the street is more than $2 billion.

The Wall Street Journal ($$) has some interesting facts about Quizno’s and Subway. It’s one of the fastest growing fast-food franchises. According to market-research company Technomic, Quizno’s doubled its units in the United States from 1,490 in 2002 to 3,055 restaurants in 2004. In contrast, Subway’s developed from 14,521 units in 2002 to 17,900 or roughly 23% growth. And who generates more money per store? The WSJ says:

2005's Best Quick Service Restaurants

Other industries in franchising, take note. This year's best quick service restaurants has just been released by QSR magazine. It is an example from franchising's largest sector to the rest of us. 2005 is a year of "new trends in food menu introductions, training programs, and store prototypes". Here are some of the best quick service categories and a few winners under sub-categories:

Will McDonald's let the revolution pass it by?

William Ackman, founder and managing partner of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management has recently campaigned to better use McDonald’s assets by spinning off its existing corporate restaurants, borrow against its high value real estate holdings, and use the cash to buy back its shares.

McDonald’s is the epitome of global capitalism and THE pioneer of global franchising. So, it is no wonder that its top brass were savvy enough to meet privately with Mr. Ackman to explore the proposal. It is estimated that his plan would lift McDonald’s share prices by some 50% (WSJ: subscription needed), quite a boon for McDonald’s shareholders.

A Modern American Tale of Nudity, Violence and McDonald's

"Having eyes, they saw not"

There are times in which we become trapped, blinded by our need for stability and our laziness to sometimes think. We march to what our institutes call for. We follow the operation manuals to a tee without understanding what the instruction was placed there for. And in the laziest of cases, we don’t even take time to know the procedures, allowing others to do the thinking and ordering for us – to tell us to do bad things to our fellow man, or in this case woman. It is a story of our need to follow authority, whether it is a manager or a policeman. Let me retell a real life story, an American tale. It is a story that has just happened of a franchise manager, her fiance and the victim, who all believed everything they were told on the phone -- of a so-called policeman, of strip searches and molestation in the name of the law.

Fat times for fast food

Forget the talk about eating healthy food. Americans are back in a big way to chowing down on fast food. And they are not just eating more deep fried chicken and burgers, but more donuts, larger burgers, and much more snacks of every kind! I remember when the burritos of my youth evolved to grande burritos and now they are wonderful el macho grande burritos. I'm waiting for the six pound burrito. We could call it the Supreme Macho Grande Muy Gordo Burrito. Hamburger outlets served over 500 million more customers in 2004 than in the previous year. Doughnut shops served about 150 million more people last year than in 2003 We are eating out more at fast-food restaurants too.

Fast-food going self-service?

automated orderingThe fast-food chains including McDonald's, Burger King and Subway are field-testing machines that allow consumers to order and pay for their meals without any human contact (registration needed). Although no company has announced a systemwide launch, word on the street is that they are looking mighty hard. Growing use of self-service at the grocer and the gas pump has chains thinking more seriously of joining the do-it-yourself generation. It seems fast-food chains are always looking for temporary high-school workers. This is one way to reduce such challenges and overhead. Now, I'd like to see some bright marketing guru at corporate figure out a way to convince customers to cook their own burgers too. And while we are at it, how about bringing their own grills.

KFC clean bird commercials waiting in the wings

It seems KFC has taken a lesson from the Boy Scouts -- "Be Prepared". The Wall Street Journal (subscription needed) reports that KFC is now preparing stand-by commercials to reassure we Americans that their chicken is safe to eat should there be an outbreak of bird flu. The commercial will be released should there be an outbreak to help quell customer fear. With any luck, they won't need to use the television spots.

Drive-through getting slower

We are a nation that wants quickness now and in our quest for convenience, we even keep a list of the fastest to slowest. Unfortunately, this year our quest for fastness will have to wait. Service at drive-through restaurants is getting slower.  Wendy's comes in as the fastest service for two years in a row, with an average time to fill an order of 135.7 seconds in 2004. (I know in my head that is fast, but when I'm a customer, that's still two times too slow.)  Unfortunately, that time is 11 seconds slower than last year's. 

Fast-food Restaurants Going Small

Two of the biggest burger chains -- Wendy's and Burger King -- are developing restaurants with smaller kitchens and seating areas , costing less to build and fitting into cheaper parcels of land. Popeye's is looking to follow suit, and even Applebee's, a sit-down restaurant, is looking to reduce square footage in rural area restaurants.

Burger King discovered in a study that the seating areas of their restaurants were way too large. For a franchise, that means one has to pay for more land and more layout space that has no additional revenue. That's bad. It means a longer return on investment because non-producing space drags returns down. Smaller, better utilized restaurants means return on investment for franchise owners go up.

Ronald McHottie!

Ronald McHottieMcDonald's long-time mascot Ronald McDonald has been replace in Japan by a slim, sexy female mascot. Is this the wave of the future? Did McDonald's Japan take notice of Carl's Junior sexy Paris Hilton ads and realize that it is the beginnings of things to come?