Fast casual chefs explore innovative flavors in upscale but casual restaurant concepts.
Special Report
Humanely raised flank steak with a house-made au jus. Wood-fired, milk-braised pork with an herb sauce and Meyer lemon chutney. Chicken tikka masala slow-cooked in tomato, coriander, yogurt, and spices and served in a warm tortilla. These are not dishes with $25 price tags served in swanky fine-...
Texas food truck turned chain taco joint serves high quality Mexican food.
Emerging Concepts
What started in 2006 as a single Torchy’s Tacos trailer with a small menu has become a chain of 37 brick-and-mortar stores offering a choice of 20 different breakfast and lunch tacos. That original trailer is still in business less than a block away from its original parking place, but most Torchy’...
US QSR restaurants serve vegan food as popular consumer trend grows.
Nutrition
Plant-based eating is gaining traction among the 98 percent of Americans who don’t identify as vegans but are attracted to the cuisine’s health and environmental benefits—not to mention its cool factor. A 2015 survey by market analyst Mintel found that 61 percent of consumers say they enjoy menu...
International QSR restaurant chains aim to grow business in United States.
Web Exclusive
The U.S. has long been called “the land of opportunity,” and that title certainly holds true when it comes to foreign-based fast-casual brands looking to make their mark. Many global concepts—from Pret A Manger and Giraffas to Maoz Vegetarian and Nando’s—have taken a stab at growth in the U.S. over...
Top QSR chains fight for customers with new and updated value meals.
Competition
The value wars have returned. For an industry built around cheap eats and value meals, competition around low prices had become relatively quiet in the years immediately following the Great Recession, with major quick serves shifting their strategies to talk more about quality. But what’s old has a...
Fancy fast casual restaurants serve alcohol including beer and wine to attract Millennials.
Consumer Trends
Most politicians will tell you it’s hard as heck to be two things at once. But the temptation is always there to try, of course, because then you can conceivably appeal to twice as many people. In this wacky election year, the trend of trying to be two things at once isn’t limited to candidates...
High quality fast casual chains attract investor money to spur restaurant growth.
Finance
If a recent spate of large-scale investments is any indication, the new crop of Fast Casual 2.0 restaurants—with their chef-driven menus and next-level ingredients—is piquing the interests of private equity firms. And this new interest in these premium concepts could propel the category to the next...
Subway's premium ingredients could attract new customers.
Outside Insights
While nearly every player in the industry is still shaking off the dizziness from McDonald’s all-day-breakfast uppercut, a number of the big quick-service chains have tried to fight back with menu innovations of their own. Taco Bell took a huge swing by unveiling its new Quesalupa during the Super...
West Coast QSR chain Millennial franchisee uses social media skills to build business.
After graduating with a degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, in 2011, Sandy Elliott was unsure of where her degree would take her; she chose the major knowing that it would be transferable in any industry.
As with Chipotle, fresh does not always equate with safe in restaurants.
It’s been a busy few months for Sloan’s Ice Cream.
In addition to helping conserve cash, bartering often leads to additional exposu
Twenty years ago, Toni Foley began bartering. These days, she won’t run her restaurant—five-year-old Eastside Café in Fairport, New York—without the practice.
Restaurant breakfast is growing trend
You have nearly everything you need to be successful at breakfast: Beautiful facilities, a trained staff, and loyal customers.So why do so many operations struggle with this daypart? Keeping up is often hard to do.
San Diego chef driven fast casual operates from touch screen tablet system.
These days, it’s not uncommon to see restaurant staff take orders on an iPad or guests swiping their credit cards on a tablet reader. Mobile technology can integrate various facets of an operation.