The week in ideas, February 8, 2013

Quizno's uses behavior and location to run a successful mobile campaign, the USDA is following their own advice, a restaurant rewards well-behaved kiddos and gets a spot on the Today show, snatching delivery guys' tips to cover fees is a no-no, and McD's is upping the service level down under.

Idea #1: Your ad in their hands. Quizno’s recently ran a mobile campaign in Portland, Ore. generated a significant 20 percent increase in coupon redemption in that market. The secret to their success wasn’t just geographic targeting, but boosting it with behavioral targeting as well.

Idea #2: USDA putting their money where their mouth is. Not a restaurant idea, but you should be aware the USDA is getting a taste of their own medicine. They are going fryer-less… As in not a single deep-fat fryer in their cafeterias, which serve more than 40K people, including members of the public, each month. They will automatically serve 100% whole wheat breads and pastas, there’s a station in the main cafeteria that conforms to the low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-calorie requirements, and there will be a daily MyPlate example on display.

Idea #3: Rewards for good behavior. A restaurant in Kingston, Washington, rewarded a family of well-behaved children with a meal discount – and the results went viral.

Idea #4: Tips are not intended to cover fees. A lawsuit against a restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York City claims the restaurant was swiping tips from delivery workers for orders placed online. Their defense? They’re using them to recoup fees charged by the online delivery sites. The judge isn’t buying it.

Idea #5: Table service at a McDonald’s? That’s right. They’re testing it in Australia.

Today's top stories

1
Last-minute shift changes would require restaurants to pay affected employees for at least four hours, whether the time was worked or not, under bills likely to be heard next week in the Oregon...
2
Starbucks is pulling the plug on another of its secondary restaurant concepts, this time the Evolution Fresh cold-press juice chain. The coffee giant intends to shut the two remaining Evolution...
3
One thing I’ve loved about writing this column over the past seven (!) years is that by using real reader-submitted questions, I am always learning new things, due to the complexity of running a...
4
Chipotle has finished rolling out its new “Smarter Pick Up Times” platform to all of its locations that offer digital ordering. Through “Smarter Pick Up Times,” the chain says it’s able to monitor...
5
Which Wich is making moves into the supermarket segment, as the chain announced a new partnership that will put units of fast-casual sandwich brand inside 15 Crossroads IGA stores nationwide. Five of...
6
Ambiance and service attributes—not food quality—have the most dramatic positive impact on consumers’ willingness to pay more at restaurants, according to a new study. The importance of ambiance and...
7
After selling pizza and burgers as the operations specialist for a multi-concept franchisee, John "J" Hedrick has moved to the Pei Wei fast-casual Asian chain as CEO. The concept, the little sister...
8
Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons , has agreed to add the Popeyes Louisiana fried chicken chain to its fold for $79 a share, or about $1.8 billion in...
9
The prototype for a new in-store Brazillian fast-casual chain will be part of a supermarket Whole Foods intends to re-open in May in midtown Atlanta, the grocer confirmed last week. Called Roast, the...
10
First impressions count. And for many of your potential customers, especially millennials, those initial impressions of your operation will be formed via a glimpse at your website. So, how can you...