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
In an effort to align with customer demand, McDonald’s will next week begin testing a breakfast version of its signature Happy Meal . The test—taking place at 73 locations in the Tulsa, Okla., market...
2
Same-store sales for the Pie Five fast-casual pizza chain fell 12% for the fourth quarter ended June 26, deepening the losses of parent company Rave Restaurant Group to $2.3 million for the quarter...
3
Ruby Tuesday took more dramatic steps on Thursday to improve the casual-dining chain’s fortunes, announcing corporate layoffs and the sale of the company’s Maryville, Tenn., headquarters. The...
4
Days after Neil Naroff’s departure as chief strategic officer of American Blue Ribbon Holdings was announced, CEO Hazem Ouf revealed he was also leaving the parent of O’Charley’s, Village Inn and...
5
The main advantage of having your kitchen as close as possible to your service line is freshness—something is lost the further production happens from consumption. Without knowing too much about your...
6
Customers may have recovered from the E. coli contaminations of nearly a year ago, but Chipotle Mexican Grill is still feeling poorly. The former high flyer has tried everything short of hypnotism...
7
The parent of Dunkin’ Donuts has hired the executive formerly responsible for McDonald’s high-growth international markets to lead the doughnut chain in the United States and Canada. David Hoffman,...
8
Restaurants and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday. The lawsuit asks the U.S. District...
9
The difference between a comfort food and a boringly safe menu option can be thinner than the crust on a classic baked macaroni and cheese. New research from Technomic shows how restaurants are...
10
Pizza Hut is expanding its senior executive team with the hiring of a social media and e-commerce veteran as the chain’s first chief customer officer. Helen Vaid will be responsible for customers’...