Does Taco Bell’s Fast-Casual Entry Have a Chance?

Taco Bell is following the lead of its YUM! sister brand KFC, which entered the fast-casual market last year. KFC Eleven features hand-crafted food—flatbreads, rice bowls and KFC Boneless Original Recipe Chicken—in a more contemporary environment. Taco Bell’s new fast-casual concept, U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom, provides the chain an opportunity to move into […]

Chipotle Looks to Leverage Customer Goodwill

Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced plans to take its first nationwide price hike in almost three years to help offset rising food costs. In discussing the move, Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung expressed confidence that the chain—No. 2 in the fast-casual restaurant segment behind Panera Bread, based on U.S. systemwide sales—had built up sufficient customer […]

Get Insights from Fast Casual’s Operator Leaders

On Friday, May 16, Technomic will help welcome restaurant industry executives to Chicago for a one-day, insights-packed conference developed by fast-casual leaders, for fast-casual leaders. The Fast Casual 2014 Trends & Directions Conference is presented by the National Restaurant Association and Technomic. This operator-led event, taking place at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, will feature presentations and […]

On- and Off-Premise: A Closer Connection

The connection between what consumers drink in bars and restaurants and what they purchase for at-home enjoyment appears to be strengthening. According to our soon-to-be released 2014 SpiritsTAB Report, more than two-fifths of consumers (44%) agree that they enjoy the same brands at home as they do in a restaurant, bar or other commercial establishment, […]

Savory Flavors See Growth on Adult Beverage Menus

Consumers keen on exploring new flavors in adult beverages aren’t limiting their flavor trial to drinks dominated by tropical fruits or other sweet tastes such as honey. Savory—even salty—flavors are coming to the fore in beer- and spirits-based beverages. Mexican micheladas (beer cocktails made with lime juice, salt and/or spices, and usually tomato juice or […]

Fried Foods Find Favour at U.K. Restaurants

In an increasingly health-conscious age, all things steamed and baked are in vogue in foodservice. But that doesn’t mean that fried foods, one of consumers’ favourite guilty pleasures, have lost their lustre on restaurant menus—far from it. Several fried treats, ranging from sweet-potato fries to churros, saw growth on U.K. pub and restaurant menus from […]

U.K. Operators Bet on the Bar to Grow Sales

The first four months of 2014 have seen a host of U.K. restaurant and pub operators announcing plans to revamp or refresh their bars, if not launch entirely new bar concepts. The move to adapt to consumers’ evolving adult-beverage tastes, including their heightened interest in craft beer and cocktail programmes, tracks with two trends Technomic […]

Social Media to Sustainability: Preferences and Priorities of Canadian Restaurant Users

How likely are Canadian consumers to engage with restaurants via Facebook? How important to restaurant-goers are issues such as recycling and food composting? Do Canadians really want to see nutrition info on menus nationwide? The latest trend report from Technomic’s Canadian Consumer Brand Metrics research program tackles these questions and more. For restaurant operators, the […]

The Fixe Is In: Cashing In on Multicourse Meals in Canada

Overall menu contraction continued in Canada from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, new Technomic MenuMonitor data reveals. All menu categories except for kids’ menus showed a decline in the number of items on offer at restaurants, with the largest contractions seen in entrées, appetizers/starters and desserts. When we parse menu categories further, we find one […]

Following the Cash in Fast Casual

Fast casual has drawn significant interest from big-name investors in the past year, with players ranging from Sentinel Capital Partners to Buffalo Wild Wings pouring money into the still-hot segment. And these investors are taking a stake in concepts across menu categories, with premium-pizza places and salad chains alike benefiting. Just so far in 2014, […]