Laura Ries
Laura Ries

Diversify restaurant holdings for long-term success

Marketer Laura Ries discusses the future of the restaurant industry, the fast-casual segment and the potential benefits of launching a new brand.

McDonald’s was once a multibrand company. In 1998 the Oak Brook, Ill.-based firm invested in Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast-casual chain with just 16 locations. By 2005 that number had climbed to 500. In January 2006 Chipotle made an initial public offering, which was well-received. Its stock price rose 100 percent on its opening day, marking the best IPO in six years.

Later that year, as part of a plan to focus on its hamburger chain, McDonald’s fully divested its i

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