Mark Brandau is content manager for Technomic. He joined Technomic in 2014 from Nation’s Restaurant News, where he was most recently senior editor.

Race for Adventurous Consumers Tightens Between Flavor-Forward LSRs, FSRs

There is a real return on investment for any restaurant putting forth the effort to identify the next big ingredient or flavor—and it’s more than just street cred in food magazines and TV segments. Two in five consumers say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers new or innovative flavors. For a […]

Profitable Franchisees Propel Fastest-Growing Restaurant Brands

Technomic report shows appeal to high-caliber operators, not just consumers, crucial to expansion Restaurant chains aiming to expand their national footprints even more through franchising should continually focus on the unit economics within the footprint of each store. This increasingly profitable business model will then entice growth-minded franchisees with an increasingly profitable business model. The […]

Save Room for Sales Growth by Making Dessert More Appealing

Dessert remains the ultimate add-on for most restaurant brands, a sweet layer of incremental sales that leaves a lasting positive impression for the guest when done right. Unfortunately, according to the Dessert Consumer Trend Report, slightly more of today’s consumers rarely or never eat dessert (14% vs. 11% in 2013) and two-thirds of these customers […]

Familiarity would breed sales growth for ethnic foods

More Canadian consumers likely would be eating interesting ethnic food and flavours—if only they knew what they were missing. I’m not passing judgement on their lacking a taste for adventure; I’m citing a key finding of the Canadian Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report. According to the study, unfamiliarity with ethnic foods is the […]

Restaurant Consumers Craving Value Don’t Necessarily Follow the Money

Throughout my career covering the restaurant industry, I have fixated on the “price” part when discussing or learning about the price-value equation. Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the ’90s, meaning two of my formative cultural touchpoints were “show me the money” and “Mo Money Mo Problems.” More likely it’s because I graduated college […]

Top 500 Brands Keep Franchisees Close — and Sales Growth Closer

If I had a dollar for every time over the past five years that I’ve heard, “Franchisees are just better at running stores than giant corporate brands,” I would probably have enough money to pay any chain’s franchisee fee and build a new restaurant. Such conventional wisdom seemed airtight recently, as franchise-unit openings have far […]

How the Next Decade Will Make or Break Food Brands

Technomic forecasts the food industry grow to more than $2 trillion in annual sales by 2025, which certainly seems like a giant number. However, that headline figure comprises growth from many categories, each of which offers the opportunity to gain market share to companies that recognize changing consumer preferences and invest in innovation. According to […]

McDonald’s Biggest Opportunity: McMuffins All Day or Higher Pay?

McDonald’s recently woke up and smelled the coffee, but I don’t mean the much buzzed-about test of all-day breakfast to begin soon in San Diego. I’m talking about last week’s other big McDonald’s story: its decision to raise the hourly wage for crew members at its approximately 1,500 company-owned stores in the United States. It […]

What Subway’s Sales Decline Says About the Restaurant Industry

Subway’s fall from second-largest restaurant chain to No. 3 in Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, the prevailing story line in a study full of intriguing developments, reveals a lot more than just how one brand is struggling to hold on to its market share. The chain’s 3.3% decrease in estimated annual sales means about […]

5 Charts That Explain McDonald’s Move Toward Antibiotic-Free Chicken

A major portion of McDonald’s supply chain is getting the Chipotle Mexican Grill treatment, as the world’s largest burger chain will begin sourcing chicken only from poultry suppliers that don’t use human antibiotics on their animals. Leaders of the Golden Arches also announced McDonald’s would only sell milk from cows that have not been treated […]