Lighter menu offerings at restaurants long ago moved from being a nice option for health-conscious customers to being the expectation of a sizeable chunk of the population. Increased consumer demand for more nutritious dining choices has sparked an industry-wide movement toward health-focused menu development.
In a globalized world, many quick-serve restaurants look to emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and other regions for new growth ventures. While these retailers strive to maintain the cornerstones of their brand, international menus can’t be carbon copies of the American originals. Regional flavors, religious dietary restrictions, and different suppliers all play a part in shaping unique dishes for consumers abroad.
These days in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant industries, the Millennial reigns supreme. The coveted demographic, approximately 20–35 in age and roughly 80 million members strong in the U.S., is the all-important target whose liberal tastes and propensity for all things digital and social media has forced the industry into a new era of innovation and transparency.
When QSR last checked in with Coolhaus as part of “America’s Top 20 Food Trucks,” in February 2011, business partners Natasha Case and Freya Estreller had just launched their second food truck, adding a roving kitchen in Austin, Texas, to their existing mobile unit in Los Angeles.
Slapfish, a Huntington Beach–based fast-casual seafood concept, announced the signing of a multiunit franchise deal to focus on Southern California. The franchisee plans to open a minimum of six stores over the next three years, with the first location planned for Newport Beach in 2014.
The new franchisee is Abdelmuti Restaurant Group led by Nedal Abdelmuti and Ahmad Abdelmuti, who have been small business owners for nearly 40 years.
Slapfish, Huntington Beach’s chef-driven fast-casual seafood restaurant, is building out its first location in Dubai. The Dubai location will be the first Middle East unit to come out of a major master franchise deal that was signed in 2013, under a notable operator/franchisee that has brought other successful restaurant brands over to the region.
Slapfish, the California-based sustainable seafood brand, is setting sail for the international franchise market.
Created by chef Andrew Gruel and his business partner, Jethro Naude, the former food truck concept signed a 75-unit deal for the Middle East and is exploring deals in China and India, as well as cities within the U.S. Its first franchise unit is slated to open in Dubai through Magnolia Enterprises.