Lisa Jennings

Executive Editor

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Lisa Jennings, executive editor. Lisa Jennings is a veteran restaurant industry reporter and editor who covers the fast-casual sector, independent restaurants and emerging chain concepts. Her experience  includes other industry publications as well as the daily newspaper The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., where she was Food Editor. Her work has been cited in the Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, FoodBeast, The Huffington Post, and more.

Articles by
Lisa Jennings

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Emerging Brands

One of the biggest açai suppliers wants to be the In-N-Out Burger of the Brazilian superfood

Growing the Sambazon Açai Bowls concept will mean competing with its own CPG products and foodservice clients, but the CEO says it's about communicating the brand's mission.


Food halls: A fad still figuring it out

Nancy and Lisa debate the up and downsides of these multi-concept outlets that are a leading cause of Choice Paralysis.

But the multi-tier Sweetpass subscription program is not showing results. CEO Jonathan Neman says it needs to be simpler.

A streamlined menu launches in April with nine new dishes and recipe upgrades for 12 classics. But say goodbye to flatbread pizzas.

To celebrate the venture fund's two-year anniversary, the fast-casual chain commits another $50 million to bring the investment pool to $100 million.

The company formerly known as Focus Brands is now GoTo Foods and a "platform business." What does that really mean for franchisees of Cinnabon, McAlister's Deli, Carvel, Jamba, Schlotzsky's, Auntie Anne's and Moe's Southwest Grill?

The Mediterranean fast casual is planning to enhance restaurant ambiance to make locations more inviting for dine-in. Also steak is coming to the menu.

Known for his work with Wolfgang Puck Worldwide and Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Essa is tasked with helping the casual-dining concept grow around the world.

Now comes the hard work of lapping a strong first year as a public company, but the fast-casual chain is well positioned for more "normalized" growth.

Known for concepts like Carbone, The Grill and Dirty French, the multi-concept operator will bring dining options to both existing and new properties under development.

The parent of McAlister's Deli, Auntie Anne's, Cinnabon, Carvel, Jamba, Schlotzsky's and Moe's Southwest Grill is evolving into a "platform business."

Guests are ordering less alcohol and more from the value side of the menu, but traffic was up 5.1% in the fourth quarter at company units.

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