• QSRweb.com's most popular stories of the year

QSRweb.com's most popular stories of the year

Why do you, faithful reader, turn to QSRweb.com? By taking a look at the most popular stories from 2013, it seems you do so to stay up on menu trends, to check out marketing campaigns and to keep an eye on restaurant design ideas and emerging technologies.

Here are the 13 most read stories of 2013:

1. Peanut butter and bacon among Sonic's 25 new shake flavors.

People are going to be drawn to any headline that includes the word "bacon." When Sonic rolled out 25 new shake flavors, including peanut butter and bacon, in the spring, readers' interests were piqued.

2. Subway introduces $4 meal deal.

Value menus were the story of the year in the QSR segment, and when Subway introduced a $4 meal deal, it hit on that trend.

3. Dunkin' Donuts rolls out Hot Chocolate Coolatta, summer beverage lineup.

Beverages are another hot topic, and Dunkin' Donuts always leads the way in this category, introducing a Hot Chocolate Coolatta and three other flavors in June.

4. Has the food truck bubble burst?

In May, we examined whether or not the food truck trend had jumped the shark, as some publications have suggested.

5. McDonald's rolls out revamped Dollar Menu, tests burger customization process.

Again, hitting on that value meal trend, McDonald's discussed its new "Dollar Menu and More" initiative, and began testing a build-your-own burger concept, allowing guests to choose premium ingredients from an iPad menu.

6. Carl's Jr., Hardee's debut charbroiled fish sandwich.

In February, Carl's Jr. and Hardee's claimed to have been the first QSRs to introduce charbroiled fish to their menus.

7. A peek at Dunkin' Donuts' new restaurant designs.

Dunkin' Donuts recently unveiled a new store design, the brand's first in nearly seven years. According to the company, the contemporary look reflects the company's "evolution from a morning destination into a brand that serves people all day long."

8. Dairy Queen now offering Blizzards in a waffle cone.

In April, Dairy Queen announced that its signature Blizzards are now available in a waffle cone.

9. Dunkin' Donuts outlines initial Southern California plans.

In July, Dunkin' Donuts signed its first Southern California multiunit store development agreements with four franchise groups for a total commitment of 45 new restaurants. The first standalone restaurants are expected to open in 2015 in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

10. Wendy's breakfast pull back due to inconsistency.

The Wendy's Company's chief financial officer Stephen Hare spoke in April about the brand's breakfast deceleration.

11. Dunkin' CFO: Beverages are the 'holy grail' of profitability.

Dunkin' Donuts, the flagship brand in the Dunkin' Brands portfolio, has shifted its focus from donuts to beverages in the past 10 years for a reason: higher margins. In May, CFO Paul Carbone said: "Beverages are the holy grail of profitability."

12. Taco Bell implements its largest marketing campaign ever.

The March launch of Taco Bell's Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos included the brand's largest marketing campaign in its history. The company's integrated marketing and consumer engagement effort included advertising (television, radio, outdoor, digital and cinema), as well as social and public relations support.

13. KFC's fast casual concept not expected to cannibalize original brand.

In July, we got a sneak peek of KFC's fast casual spinoff, KFC eleven. The restaurant is located in the Highlands neighborhood of the brand's hometown of Louisville, Ky. The KFC eleven menu includes rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, Original Recipe boneless chicken, crispy bites, sides, desserts and beverages. Sides include waffle fries, mac & cheese, garlic smashed potatoes & gravy, crunchy coleslaw and a side salad.

Read more about trends and statistics

Photo provided by Wikipedia.

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