Feeding Canada’s Healthy Families

The news last week that Food Network celebrity chef Corbin Tomaszeski is launching new healthy menu items such as kale Caesar salad and Parmesan zucchini sticks at hundreds of schools across Ontario has sparked a lively discussion here at Technomic. One parent says her child won’t eat anything but sweets, and no fresh and local […]

Canadian Restaurant Consumers Support Sustainability

It’s no surprise to learn that Canadian consumers support sustainability initiatives at restaurants. What’s interesting is that their support varies by segment and demographic. Many consumers are concerned about food and non-food waste at restaurants, but our exploration of this topic for a recent Consumer Update Report, part of Technomic’s ongoing Consumer Brand Metrics research, […]

What Went Wrong: Burger King Cuts Satisfries

The “Zone of Creativity”—when the consumer gives their permission to the restaurant operator to innovate with strict parameters. Consumers have greater health and wellness expectations from restaurants, and operators are doing a better job of listening. But does the consumer lie to them or to themselves? Each day we tell ourselves we want to eat […]

Betting on Fast-Casual Barbecue

The fastest-growing chain with sales greater than $200 million in 2013 was fast-casual barbecue concept Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, according to Technomic’s 2014 Top 500 Chain Restaurants Report. This is just one of the reasons that barbecue may continue to be a growth area for fast-casual concept development. Patrons flock to fast-casual barbecue concepts because they […]

Shake Shack Concedes Nixing Crinkle Fries Was a Mistake

Last fall, I discussed the teachable moment Panda Express encountered when it tried to swap brown rice for white rice in its signature fried-rice recipe. Many customers were outraged, and the chain—the third-largest fast-casual restaurant brand in the U.S. by sales—put the matter to a public vote. White rice won handily, and the original fried-rice […]

Mid-2014 Update: Glass Half-Full?

Following the abysmal winter, many adult beverage industry pros were looking forward to sales rising along with the mercury. We at Technomic do see improved performance as we move into late summer, but not the acceleration the industry hoped for earlier in the year. Crunching the numbers on the recently closed second quarter revealed that […]

Liquid Assets: Strong Growth for Adult Beverage-Centered Restaurants

Adult beverages take center stage at a new generation of casual-dining chain restaurants built on the premise that the beer, wine or cocktails menu deserves as much attention as the food menu. These concepts—Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Yard House and Eddie Merlot’s among them—also have banked on the belief that today’s increasingly beverage-savvy consumer […]

Hot-Dog Craze Keeps Rolling in the U.K.

Hot dogs, still hot? You bet your buns. The hot-dog craze that started to take off in the U.K. in late 2012 rolls on, with the number of hot dogs menued at U.K. chain and independent restaurants tracked by Technomic’s MenuMonitor online resource surging 156% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014. In addition, the number […]

U.K. Restaurant Brands Roll Out New Concepts

U.K. restaurant operators are looking to expand their reach and serve new audiences by debuting concepts a step above or a step below their original brands’ service style. PAUL, which came in at No. 75 on Technomic’s 2014 list of the Top 100 U.K. Chain Restaurants (based on 2013 U.K. systemwide sales), is among this […]

Forward Focus for Canada’s Fastest-Growing Restaurants

The restaurant concepts that made Technomic’s 2014 Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurants list, as ranked by their 2013 Canadian systemwide sales, outperformed the restaurant industry as a whole in Canada last year. Sales for chains in the Top 200 rose 4.2% to $29.2 billion (Canadian), vs. the 3.4% sales growth (to $48.7 billion) recorded by […]