Tips for Success from Top Chain Operators

See how the nation's most successful chain restaurants are evolving to meet customer demand and stay competitive in the ever-changing world of foodservice.


4 Actionable Tips from Restaurant Leaders

With consumer demands shifting, restaurant chains are upping their game in a variety of ways to remain competitive. To help keep up, take cues from some of the most successful in the biz.


Increase Better-for-you Menu Items

Penetration of healthy menu items has increased by 7.9% over the past 5 years, as consumers clamor for natural/real food and drink. Replacing beef or pork options with turkey is one way operators are introducing healthier options to their menus.

40% Less fat

Spotted at Del Taco,

which introduced seasoned turkey as a protein option in 2017. Their turkey has 40% less fat than their seasoned beef choice.


Consider Social Media

Millennials are most likely to post pictures of food on social media (22% say they do), and Gen Z is following in their footsteps.

Chains do well with LTOs and permanent menu items that are Instagram-ready.


Spotted at Starbucks,

which is king of viral menu items. The chain followed up the wildly successful Unicorn Frappuccino (available for just 5 days) with unique, visually appealing treats including:

  • Zombie Frappuccino
  • Crystal Ball Frappuccino

Offer Customization

From different portion sizes to choosing desired ingredients, customization isn’t slowing down—

Sixty one percent

of consumers say the ability to customize their order is important when visiting a fast-food restaurant.

Spotted at Firehouse Subs,

whose Small Subs offer consumers a delicious, snackable option for when they’re not hungry enough for a full meal.


Make off-premise Easier Than Ever

Consumers order food to go, on average, 5.5 times per month. Operators are adding new ways to reach busy diners, making it easier than ever to order food.


Spotted at:

Dunkin’ Donuts, which is testing delivery options

Chick-fil-A, which recently launched a mobile ordering app

Pizza Hut, which rolled out bot ordering on social media

Get more Insights or contact us with questions.

Sources: Technomic's Consumer Trend Reports: 2016 Healthy Eating CTR, 2016 Generational CTR, 2016 Future of LSR: Fast-Food & Fast-Casual CTR, 2016 Takeout & Off-Premise Dining CTR