Here’s what QSRweb.com readers clicked on the most in 2022.
2022 was an up and downer. The restaurant industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but many restaurants are still finding it difficult to hire and retain workers.
Stories about restaurant openings, multi-unit agreements and a hidden restaurant behind a mall wall were all popular with our readers. We took a look at the most-read items on QSRweb.com and here’s what we found:
This brief reached almost 12,000 views. A&W signed a three-unit development deal with father-and-son team Bud and Stan Keim to open stores in Kansas.
“We are fortunate to be growing quickly with operators like Bud and Stan,” John Palumbo, A&W senior director of franchise development, said in a press release about the deal. “We are expanding quickly in Kansas, but still have additional territory available.”
In this brief, Wienerschnitzel signed a development agreement with franchisee group Tejas Dogs LLC to build 20 restaurants throughout Arkansas over the next 12 years.
“We’re confident the team at Tejas Dogs will successfully lead Wienerschnitzel into Arkansas with unrelenting drive, market expertise and vision,” Ted Milburn, director of franchise development for Wienerschnitzel, said in a company press release. “Wienerschnitzel is at the top of a very special segment that has withstood the test of time and is only getting better with age. As we continue to experience unparalleled growth and expand our franchise family, there has never been a better time to partner with Wienerschnitzel.”
Sunway continues to grow. Here, they inked master agreements for the countries of Thailand and the State of Kuwait.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards growing our Asia Pacific business,” John Chidsey, chief executive officer of Subway, said in a company news release. “We have seen a strong demand for Subway across Thailand and, with About Passion Co. Ltd.’s existing knowledge of our business model and success in implementing operational excellence across their current restaurant locations, we are confident they will be successful in strategically expanding our presence in the country.”
This was a fun one to read. This story went viral: a hidden Burger King was found behind a mall wall in Delaware. The pastel colors and vintage phrases, perfectly intact booths and garbage cans made it look like a time capsule from the 1990s. There’s even a tour video. Check it out if you missed it.
This Q&A featured an interview with Kevin Holmes, executive director of marketing communications at Panda Restaurant Group, parent company to Panda Express. Holmes discussed the brand’s Lunar New Year 2022 campaign.
“Our Lunar New Year campaigns emphasize authentic storytelling through the legend, food symbolism, and the values behind the holiday,” Holmes said. “In recent years, we shifted our strategy from desktop learning to experiential and interactive digital activations because this holiday is so sensorial.”
The Casper family, which owned 60 McDonald’s in the Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida, areas sold their stores back to McDonald’s. The first Casper franchise opened in 1958. The company sold its restaurants after its CEO and his brother-in-law both retired.
Taco John’s expanded in Rapid City, with a fourth location opening in June. The franchise is owned and operated by Pentex Restaurant Group, which operates other Taco John’s locations as well.
“We’re thrilled to open another bigger. bolder. better. Taco John’s location in South Dakota,” Brett Itterman, Pentex CEO, said in a company news release. “We’ve experienced great success from our other Taco John’s locations in Rapid City, so we’re excited to bring another one to the city. Taco John’s has been a mainstay in Rapid City since 1969, so it’s time to bring our loyal fans a brand-new store with an updated look.”
All QSRs don’t have to look the same. Taco Bell opened its Defy design this year, and Del Taco opened its Fresh Flex prototype in Orlando. Here, we talked to Mark Landini of Landini Associates who has worked for both McDonald’s and Dunkin’.
“Technology will have the most significant impact on the design of QSRs moving forward, but it’s only started with ordering. Trials using kiosks and other interfaces have seen sales jump as customers are less pressured and more focused. On-sales, personalization and convenience can be increased, too, but the ‘less pressure’ thing is not to be dismissed as just a POS thing. It’s a QSR thing now, too,” Landini explained.
In-N-Out is always big news. While some areas haven’t seen a single unit, Reno got its second one.
“As with all locations, fresh ingredients will be supplied to the (new Reno) store from In-N-Out. All patties are produced and delivered fresh throughout the week to the stores and are never frozen,” the company said in a statement.
California-based Wetzel’s Pretzels debuted a drive-thru prototype in Southern California.
“On-the-go options are the future of the food industry, making this an exceptional concept for growth,” said David Bermudez said in a company press release. “I’m thrilled to be a part of Wetzel’s. We are well on our way to national dominance.”