For the last two years, QSR has released its 40/40 List, a signature report naming the 40 most exciting fast-casual concepts with fewer than 40 locations. The smash success of each list has helped spotlight dynamic start-up brands all over the country that are out to change the way Americans eat.

We’re getting ready to research next year’s list, and once again, we want your help! We’re opening up the 2019 40/40 List to reader submissions to make sure we don’t miss any brand worthy of the honor. To qualify, brands should embody most of the below characteristics that we’ve identified as setting fast casual 2.0 concepts apart from fast casual’s first wave. 

  • Chef-driven menus and/or signature menu items;
  • Premium hospitality;
  • A focus on experience rather than value;
  • Enhanced beverage programs; 
  • High-quality and/or local, healthy ingredients;
  • Ambitions other than growth and profit;
  • Cornerstones in the community;
  • Entreprenurial and innovative;
  • Invest in long-term relationships with stakeholders.

Think you know which brand might be a perfect fit? Click here to access the 2019 40/40 List submission form. All submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on October 23, 2018. With any questions, please reach out to Sam Oches at

Fast Casual, News