Shelly Whitehead / Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

A&W's post-Yum success proves breaking up isn't hard to do

Sometimes, brands like people do better solo than as a member of even the nicest restaurant family. Such has been the case for a brand that is actually the nation's oldest restaurant chain, A&W.

Taco Bell puts a brake on restaurant industry's revolving door

Taco Bell's 4-year-old Start with Us, Stay with Us initiative required a slew of cultural changes for the brand, but is now starting to pay off with big, long-term results in employee quality, retention and engagement.

World's oldest QSR rebrands, expands in US

The time may never be more ripe for 118-year-old Yoshinoya to hit a growth spurt in the U.S. The brand's U.S. CEO offers insight into what's coming as the Japanese-based beef bowl chain begins rebranding on American soil.

The gluten-free opportunity: New rewards await

Skyrocketing demand for gluten-free choices on restaurant menus is spawning creative solutions from restaurateurs, food service vendors and health watchdog groups to provide diners with choices that are both healthful and great tasting.

Freshii's devilish promo rewards customers for ditching QSR gift cards

The latest promotion from Freshii — which officially classifies itself as a "health casual" brand — is taking direct aim at its fast food competitors by allowing customers to exchange all their fast food gift cards for a free chef-designed...

'If in doubt, leave it out': The lessons in Cinnabon's Carrie Fisher tweet

Cinnabon's poorly received social media post about Carrie Fisher, upon her death this week, has restaurant leaders talking about how best to prevent such well-intended but still brand-burning missteps online.

5 findings inside diners' minds make great guides for 2017

NPD Group recently outlined its top five predictions about the American diner's state of mind as it relates to the dinner plate. Taken collectively, these five predictions form the kind of information that brands can take and run with in the year ahead.

Cinnabon unleashes wrath of internet over Fisher tweet

Cinnabon is struggling today with a problem that haunts just about every restaurateur in the digital age after the company's social media managers posted what the online universe quickly deemed an inappropriate comment on the death yesterday of original Star Wars cast member Carrie Fisher.

A 'post mortem': Looking back at 2016's hard-learned lessons

Experts weigh in on the eight lessons they learned in 2016 about the fine art of running a restaurant.

New food hub connects the local vegetable stand to biggest restaurant brands

Restaurateurs hoping for a central, tech-connected marketplace linking small local farmers to the skyrocketing number of restaurants, whose customers are demanding them, are getting their wish via a partnership between Aggrigator and Alba Organics. The Aggrigator Farm to Shelf Marketplace...

Wasabi to employees: We like you, we really like you

Some of the world's leading brands make their employees their first and most important customer. The UK-based foodservice brand,Wasabi, is making it a priority for their chain's employees too.

All hail the diehards: Limited-service chains open Christmas

News reporters, convenience and retail store employees, first responders and medical personnel are among that committed group of people who rarely get holidays off. They are also the core customers for the following chains that remain open and ready to...

Hardee's CEO tapped as labor secretary: What's in it for restaurant biz?

Where the nation and the restaurant industry labor force are concerned, Andy Puzder is quite vocal in his pro-automation and anti-regulation views. These views are aligned with those of President-elect Donald Trump, who, according to CNN, has named the CKE Restaurants CEO as the nation's new secretary of labor.

What to learn from DC pizza brand's fake news nightmare

The potentially brand-ending effects of rumor in the Internet age became painfully evident Sunday when a fake news report connected to Washington D.C's pizzeria, Comet Ping Pong, led to a gunman opening fire. The incident should serve as a lesson as to how and why brands need response plans in place.

A chicken chain 'phoenix' rises from ashes with help of a 'patient' man and a whole American Indian nation

This week, Beautiful Brands International signed an agreement with the Muscogee Creek Nation's Muscogee Nation Business Enterprise division to open as many as 500 Rex's Chicken restaurants in 35 states. The chicken chain's 40-year-story mirrors that of the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes.

Big Mac inventor leaves invaluable lesson for restaurateurs today

The passing of Big Mac inventor and McDonald’s longtime franchisee, Jim Delligatti, got me thinking about the value of true, two-way communication between a brand's top leadership and its front-line employees.

Big Mac inventor dead at 98

Longtime McDonald's franchisee and creator of the renowned Big Mac, Michael "Jim" Delligatti, has died at the age of 98.

Fast Casual Summit: 4 questions restaurant brands must answer

At last month's Fast Casual Executive Summit outside Los Angeles, restaurant marketing consultant Gerry O’Brion said the difference between winners and losers in the food service game is differentiation. Brands that can clearly answer four key questions are primed to lead this highly competitive segment of the economy.

KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell leading Chinese health initiatives

The Chinese government wants to help its people live longer, healthier lives and has enlisted the support of the nation’s leading fast-food operator, Yum China, to lead the charge.

Japanese Domino's customers get pies by reindeer

Domino's — never one to shy away from a delivery challenge — has opted to go "old school" for its latest delivery dilemma work-around in the snowy northernmost part of Japan, Hokkaido. The chain is dispatching antlered delivery drivers this...

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