Edit

Peter Romeo

Editor at Large

Articles by
Peter Romeo

Page 182
Financing

Your franchisees need a loan? Give their bank an earful

Restaurant franchisees wouldn’t have to scrounge for capital if their franchisors provided lenders with info about the brand’s performance, plans and work-out scenarios, concluded a high-level powwow on the credit crunch.

Meal-plan co. moves into fast food

A company that ships meals in bulk to customers’ homes is giving a quick-service restaurant format a try. The Fresh Diet has opened what it describes as a grab-and-go pilot facility in North Miami that features single-portion selections like sandwiches, wraps, salads, cheesecake and snacks.

MonkeyDish grabbed Robbie Brozin after his keynote presentation at the Restaurant Leadership Conference to learn more about the transformation of Nando’s Peri Peri, a grilled chicken concept, into one of the world’s largest fast-casual chains. Here’s what the South African had to say about the brand he founded and now serves as CEO.

Food trucks fill the streets and parking lots of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin and Portland, Ore. Los Angeles alone counts 9,000 food trucks and carts, including branded vehicles from California Pizza Kitchen and Carl’s Jr. Yet when Ray Villaman, moderator of a trucks panel at the Restaurant Leadership Conference, asked who in the audience has or plans to launch a food truck, only a few hands were raised.

In research conducted from late January to mid-February, our staff monitored the two leading social-media channels for restaurants right now, Twitter and Facebook, counting followers and fans, how often consumers discussed the brand and the efforts of operators to foster that give-and-take.

Restaurant franchisors know the internet can be an effective local-store marketing tool. But how do they extend the capabilities to franchisees without surrendering a dangerous degree of control?

How do you build a global restaurant chain? Robbie Brozin, the founder of $1-billion-a-year Nando’s Chicken, ended the educational component of the Restaurant Leadership Conference with some specific tips for attendees.

A restaurateur-turned-media-consultant advised Restaurant Leadership Conference attendees to avoid some of the common pratfalls of mobile and social media.

It’s not like restaurants haven’t wanted to grow over the last year. It’s just nobody wants to lend the money for it.

Every chain has A, B and C units. A key to growth—without actually building new stores—can be in turning C’s into B’s and B’s into A’s.

Voicing agreement that the worst is over for restaurants, attendees of the Restaurant Leadership Conference said they came to the Scottsdale, Ariz., event with an ear cocked for insights into chains’ near-term prospects.

The venerable Honey Baked Ham retail chain is branching into full-service restaurants with a concept promising no shortcuts in the preparation of its breakfast and lunch specialties.