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How The Foodservice Industry Is Celebrating Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is today, and this is one of CHD Expert’s favorite holidays. Valentine’s Day not only brings loved ones together to celebrate their relationships, but it is also the time of year when foodservice brands get to run creative promotions to bring in customers who are looking to celebrate the holiday.

Here are three promotions that caught our eye this week (Feb 10 – Feb 14):

Copyright: The Wall Street Journal 

Fourth Annual Qdoba Mexican Grill(R) Valentine’s Day Promotion Gets a Spicy Twist with Queso for a Kiss

On Valentine’s Day, Qdoba will bring back its annual buy one, get one free promotion, as it encourages guests to share a kiss with someone and get a free entrée with the purchase of a Queso entrée.

“Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love and happiness with those around us–friends, families, or even strangers–which is part of the reason why we love bringing back this promotion and sharing this day with our guests,” said David Craven, Vice President of Marketing Communications at Qdoba. “With the launch of two new Quesos right before Valentine’s Day, Queso for a Kiss is a great opportunity to let our guests share the flavors they love with their loved ones, while having the opportunity to try something new.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Valentine’s Day is all about love and what better way to share that love than with a kiss and a free entrée. We expect to see people waiting in line to take advantage of this Valentine’s Day offer, especially with the release of Qdoba’s two new Queso flavors: Queso Diablo and Queso Verde.

Copyright: Restaurant News 

Pop the Question at Fazoli’s Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Fazoli’s restaurant is offering couples who get engaged on location, free spaghetti for a year. How great is that? The lucky couple will also be entered to win $500 worth of catering by Fazoli’s for their wedding reception, rehearsal dinner or shower.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the number of couples who got engaged at Fazoli’s last year,” said Cathy Hull, Fazoli’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This year, with the chance to have the wedding catered by Fazoli’s, we anticipate even more couples to make Fazoli’s the place to pop the question.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Romance and Italian cuisine go hand-in-hand so what better way to propose than over a romantic Italian dinner? Think about the famous scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. On top of that, each couple will receive free food for a year. We call that a win-win.

Copyright: Market Watch 

Say “I Do” at DQ®

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, and the launch of its new Red Velvet Blizzard®, Dairy Queen is inviting all fans to get married and celebrate with a reception at their local DQ® restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

“Planning a wedding can be stressful, so this Valentine’s Day, we want to alleviate some of that stress by inviting our fans to celebrate their big day with the Dairy Queen brand,” said Barry Westrum, executive vice president of Marketing for American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ). “Not only are participating locations offering the venue where the happy couple can say their vows, but we’ll also provide the food for the reception and a signature Red Velvet Blizzard Cake at the restaurant. What better way to start off a sweet marriage than then to do it at a DQ restaurant?”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: This is a generous idea by Dairy Queen. Planning a wedding can be stressful (and expensive). This is a great way to bring in more customers and create brand advocates. Plus, you’ll get a free Signature Red Velvet Blizzard Cake as part of the Valentine’s Day promotion.

We hope you enjoyed these stories and don’t forget to check back next Friday to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thoughts, views, and opinions on these Valentine’s Day promotions in the comment section.

Thank you and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!


Foodservice Industry News: Weekly Headlines

27 Jan

There is no denying the popularity of pizza in the United States. It’s one of the country’s most popular foods,  and according to our Foodservice Database Easy2FIND, there are over 70,000 pizzerias in the US, which is the largest menu type by total number of restaurants. This week, we saw three of the leading brands announce new plans and changes to their business that could take their operation to the next level.

Here are three new announcements in the pizza industry that caught our eye this week (Jan 20 – Jan 24):

Copyright: NRN – Dominos Pizza to Remodel All Restaurants By The End of 2017

Domino’s Pizza, which operates or franchises nearly 5,000 locations in the United States and more than 5,600 restaurants in 70 international markets, will accelerate its remodeling program to convert all of its nearly 11,000 restaurants worldwide into their “Pizza Theater” prototype by the end of 2017. The news comes days after the company’s biggest competitor, Pizza Hut, announced the opening of two stores will sell single slice pizza.

“If we get this right and get this done,” chief executive Patrick Doyle said, “this is one more thing as you look at the transformation of the Domino’s brand, both in the U.S. and around the world, that we think is going to continue to really drive the momentum on this brand.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Consumers are always searching for more convenience and better restaurant environments. In response, fast-food chains continue to make attempts to offer better-quality food in a modern environment. This move seems to be Dominos response to an increase in new fast-casual pizza concepts trending in the industry. It will be interesting to see if the better-looking restaurants have a significant impact on their sales.

Copyright: – Papa Johns Offering Digital Gift Cards on Their New Mobile Web Site

Papa John’s, the world’s third largest pizza delivery company, launched the pizza industry’s first system wide mobile-optimized Web site, powered by CashStar. With the new digital gift card ordering system, Papa John’s customers can now design and purchase customized Papa John’s gift cards, and select the specific delivery date via their mobile device.

“This is a big win for consumers,” said Bob Kraut, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “You’re not always at a computer when you remember you missed someone’s birthday, or you want to say ‘thank you’ to someone. This allows you to instantly send a Papa John’s digital gift card wherever you are through your mobile device.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Papa Johns is no stranger to the Internet. They were the first national pizza company to offer online ordering, SMS text ordering, and a nationwide digital rewards program in the U.S. Since the early 2000s; they have embraced technology, using it to enhance their customer experience and increase their sales. The Internet has changed ordering habits. It will be intriguing to see a complete mobile optimized website will positively impact  the number of gift cards purchased.

Copyright: – Pizza Hut Launches New Hand-Tossed Pizza

Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza company, introduced a new Hand-Tossed pizza featuring a lighter, airier crust. To celebrate the launch, Pizza Hut is selling the pizza at an introductory price of $10 and will guarantee that if a consumer doesn’t love the new pizza, the next pizza is free.

“Our new Hand-Tossed pizza has been years in the making, and we believe we’ve delivered the best tasting pizza in the category,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut. “For a long time, consumers have looked at hand-tossed as the ‘white bread’ pizza of the category, and we set out to completely blow up the notion that all pizzas are created equal. We feel so strongly about this, that we’re offering consumers the next pizza on us if they are not completely satisfied with our new product.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: The new Hand-Tossed pizza allows the company to differentiate itself from competitors and not just be another white breadpizza. Unlike the previous crust, Pizza Huts new crust puts more emphasis on taste, topping it with Mozzarella cheese and brushing it with a garlic buttery flavor. In such a crowded market place, Pizza Hut is trying to separate itself from the competition by rolling out the tastiest pizza crust in the industry. We are eager to look back in a few months and see how customers are responding to their new crust and what kind of impact it will have on their business. 

We hope you enjoyed last week’s stories and don’t forget to check back here next week to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts, views, and opinions in the comment section.

Also, if you are a business looking for foodservice data on pizzerias and/or Italian restaurants in the United States or anywhere else in the world, please email us at

Foodservice Industry News: Weekly Headlines

13 Jan

With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, many foodservice operators look to attract health-conscious customers with new nutritional options. This week, we saw a handful of restaurants launch new menu items targeting consumers who wish to begin or continue their healthy eating.

Here are 3 new products launches that caught our eye this week (Jan 6-Jan 10):

Copyright: Market Wired – Del Taco Introduces Turkey Tacos

Del Taco, which has over 500 chains in 18 states, became the first Mexican fast food restaurant to offer ground turkey tacos. Priced at $1.29, the new Turkey Tacos have 33 percent less fat than its beef tacos and only 150 calories.

“It’s exciting to see a major player such as Del Taco offer turkey as a protein option,” said Heidi Diller, registered dietitian-nutritionist. “Not only do Del Taco’s Turkey Tacos have 33 percent less fat, they taste great!”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: In today’s health conscious society, restaurants continue to find new ways to create healthy but delicious menu items. Mexican food is very popular in the United States, and turkey tacos may become the next big trend. We’ll have to wait and see if other fast food restaurants add turkey as a healthy alternative to their menu offering.

Copyright: Yahoo! – New Year, New Better-For-You Menu Items At Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts, which owns over 10,000 restaurants in 31 countries, expanded its DDSMART® menu by adding a new Sliced Turkey Breakfast Sandwich to the list. Served on a Multigrain Flatbread with three slices of turkey, an egg, and a slice of reduced fat cheddar cheese, the Sliced Turkey Breakfast Sandwich is only 310 calories.

“We know that our guests are increasingly health-conscious, and are looking for a full selection of choices that satisfy their hunger and fit into their lifestyle,” said John Costello, President, Global Marketing and Innovation at Dunkin’ Brands. “Ever since we launched our DDSMART menu more than five years ago, we have been steadily expanding our better-for-you offerings.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Dunkin’ Donuts’ DDSMART menu has always aimed to provide healthy options without compromising taste. This latest launch shows Dunkin’ Donuts is still committed to helping customers eat better, even during breakfast.

Copyright: Yahoo! – Jamba Juice Unveils Expanded Menu of Smoothies and Fresh Juices Made With Whole Food Ingredients

Jamba Juice, the leading restaurant retailer of better-for-you, specialty beverage and food offerings, announced its new smoothies and juices made from whole food ingredients. Jamba Juice’s new Whole Food Nutrition™ smoothies will have 10-14 grams of protein and made with ingredients including kale, carrots, chia seeds and Greek yogurt.

“Made with whole fruit, whole veggies and other real whole food ingredients, our new smoothies and juices make it easy to start healthy habits in the New Year with truly good, straight from the earth ingredients,” said Julie S. Washington, senior vice president and chief brand officer, Jamba Juice Company.

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Consumers looking to fulfill their New Year’s resolution of consuming more fruits and vegetables, now have an easy way to start their healthy lifestyle. The Whole Food Nutrition smoothies give consumers an on-the-go option that fits their new healthy lifestyle, and keeps with their New Year resolution.

We hope you enjoyed the stories and don’t forget to check back to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thoughts, views, and opinions on this week’s headlines in the comment section.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Foodservice Industry News: Weekly Headlines

3 Jan

Each Friday, we select the week’s most exciting foodservice headlines. These stories can be new trends, survey findings, product launches, or company partnerships. The one thing they all have in common is they have the potential to reshape the foodservice industry as we know it today.

Here are a few headlines that caught our attention this week (Dec 30-Jan 3):

Copyright: QSR Magazine

Dickey’s Barbecue Partners with Texas Pete – Dickey’s Barbecue, one of the fastest growing chains in America, entered into a partnership with Texas Pete Hot Sauce. The two brands will team up to create new menu items to launch later this year. Texas Pete, which is known for its full line of hot sauces, was originally known for making barbecue sauce.

“We’re excited about our partnership with Texas Pete,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., president and CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. “We’ve developed exciting new menu items along with the Texas Pete culinary team that bring together the best of our slow-smoked barbecue along with their bold, fiery flavor.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Co-branding is a great way for a brand to introduce products to loyalist of another brand. Most recently, we saw this when Taco Bell and Doritos partnered to create the popular Doritos Locos Tacos.


Burger King Launches KING DEALS® Value Menu – Burger King, the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, introduced its new KING DEALS® Value Menu of more than 20 items. The KING DEALS® will offer a variety of choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with prices starting at $1.

“We’re launching the new KING DEALS® Value Menu including classics and new favorites like the Rodeo Sandwiches all starting at just $1,” said Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Marketing Officer, North America. “We’ve seen an incredible response from our guests with our $1 menu items and we want to continue creating great tasting products that don’t sacrifice on taste.”

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: Burger King has undertaken a series of initiatives such as new product launches (Big King, Satisfries) and re-imaging to improve their brand recognition. This modification to their value meal is just another action in the company’s brand-building efforts.

Copyright: QSR Magazine

McDonald’s and White Castle Testing Ordering Kiosks – Traditional quick-service burger chains, McDonald’s and White Castle, are considering giving customers the ability to customize their orders by using kiosks. Last month, White Castle began testing touch-screen ordering kiosks at a renovated restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. McDonald’s also tested a similar system at a location in Laguna Niguel, California.

“Younger customers are starting to expect more from brands, and kiosks are already popular in Europe and other countries. It also creates better efficiency between the customer and the back of the house, and reduces order errors,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic.

Neither McDonald’s nor White Castle executives are saying whether or not they plan on adding ordering kiosks to additional locations.

To read the full story, click here.

Our Thoughts: We’ve seen a number of restaurants test kiosks and tablets in their restaurants. Late last year, Applebee’s announced its plans to install tablets in more than 1,800 of its restaurants. Whether for customization or convenience, we expect to see  touch-screen ordering continue to trend in restaurants.

We hope you enjoyed these stories and don’t forget to check back to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thoughts, views, and opinions in the comment section below. 

Thank you and have a wonderful day! 

Foodservice Industry News: Weekly Headlines

20 Dec

Happy Friday! From here on out, each and every Friday, CHD Expert will summarize the week’s most interesting and insightful news in the foodservice industry. Our goal is to share stories that catch our attention and have our readers share their thoughts on them.

So, here are some of stories that caught our eye this week (Dec 16-20):

Jersey Mike’s Raises Money for Nonprofit – On Monday, Jersey Mike’s donated $305,000 to Wreaths Across America (WAA), a nonprofit organization that coordinates wreath laying ceremonies across the country.

From October 1st through November 11th, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the U.S. collected donations for the WAA. The company also donated $1 for every social action sharing the WAA story on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

PepsiCo Experimenting with Snack FoodsPepsiCo Inc., which owns Cheetos, Fritos, and Tostitos, have been experimenting with new restaurant dishes featuring their snacks. This comes after the company’s big hit, teaming up with Taco Bell to create the Doritos Locos Tacos.

After partnering with Buffalo Wild Wings, PepsiCo said it would work with the chain to create a “unique menu offering.” Pizza Hut, which is owned by Yum Brands (who also owns Taco Bell), has been also looking for new ways to use Frito-Lay on its menu.

Texas Pete Debuts New Sriracha SauceTW Garner Food Company, the maker of Texas Pete sauces, announced the launch of its newest addition, CHA! by Texas Pete sriracha sauce.

“CHA! by Texas Pete® was designed specifically for enthusiasts who are always chasing the next great taste,” says Steve DeCorte, general manager of sales at TW Garner Food Company. “The growth of sriracha sauce over the past few years has been fast-paced and we anticipate that CHA! by Texas Pete® will deliver the bold, balanced flavors we’re known for to a whole new audience.”

Pizza Hut Dominates Google Searches – On Wednesday, Google announced its 13th annual Zeitgeist results, showing what users searched for the most during the year and Pizza Hut was once again the top searched restaurant brand, followed by Domino’s.

Papa John’s, who was third on the list in 2012, did not make the list for 2013.

Check back here each and every Friday to get a roundup of the week’s biggest restaurant and foodservice news! Don’t forget to share your thoughts, views, and opinions in the comment section below. 

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