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    The 40/40 List

  • We can see it clearly: These 40 brands have a great shot at defining the next generation of fast-casual success.

    Jeni Britton Bauer
    Jeni's Ice Creams is poised for take-off.

    When we first launched the 40/40 List in 2017, we searched high and low for a solid name that communicated our mission—identifying 40 fast-casual brands with fewer than 40 locations that we thought could become the next big thing—without slapping on the standard “40 under 40” moniker. A colleague finally landed on it; “40/40” not only communicated those two important numbers, but was also synergistic with “20/20,” i.e. perfect vision.

    To put it more simply, through the 40/40 List, we’ll use our clear vision of the industry to identify the most exciting startup brands. 

    How appropriate, then, that our fourth-annual list is in the year 2020, offering a completely new crop of 40 fast casuals that are emerging across the country. Of course, your vision is never really perfect in the restaurant industry (and we’ve had a few whiffs along the way). But we trust what we see in these exciting fast casuals, which are all elevating the category in their own unique ways.

    Check out the entire 40/40 List here.

    A Look at past reports:

    2019

    2018

    2017