Fast Casuals Promote Alternatives Amid Rising Beef Prices

Fast casuals such as Shake Shack and Chipotle have reduced 2015 revenue projections in the face of rising commodity costs, particularly a surge in beef prices. With relief potentially years away, fast-casual restaurants have begun exploring ways to alleviate some of the burden of more expensive beef. Almost half of consumers say they have noticed […]

Can a Fast-Casual Pivot Counter Macaroni Grill’s Struggles?

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, newly spun off from Ignite Restaurant Group, appears to be going all-in on its Romano’s Kitchen Counter initiative, expanding the express-lunch service to dinner as well. The appeal of adopting fast-casual tactics to target fast-casual consumers is understandable. But Romano’s is charging ahead with its “concept within a concept” initiative, even though […]

Break-out Bubbly

Champagne and sparkling wine are on a roll lately, outpacing wine overall for a 4.1% total volume increase in 2014, with continued growth underway this year. On-premise, however, the story is quite different: The category barely gained volume, posting a mere 0.4% increase, according to our recently completed study, On-Premise Wine: Opportunities, Challenges and Innovations. Why […]

Tequila on the Rise at Full-Service Chains

Tequila continues to make inroads into American foodservice. In recent years, tequila bars and restaurants with broad selections of tequila have emerged, tapping into the popularity of the spirit that results from the advent of 100% agave and aged expressions. In addition to bars that exclusively offer tequila, the spirit is increasingly appearing on menus […]

Where Are They Now: Twin Peaks

THEN: In the May 2011 issue of ConcepTrac, Technomic profiled Twin Peaks, a casual-dining concept promoting scenic views of its rustic, mountain lodge-style décor and midriff-bearing Twin Peaks Girls. The chain catered to males not only with its décor and all-female servers but also with its large portions of upscale bar fare and commitment to […]

One-Size-Fits All Is Out: How Consumers Vary by Market

Many restaurants are starting to adopt a more localized approach to menu development, marketing and operations to develop targeted strategies and offerings. Tailoring the experience to consumers in a particular market begins with understanding the local consumer. To that end, Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program allows operators and suppliers to filter consumer brand tracking data […]

Irish for More than a Day

Everyone’s Irish today, and like good Irishmen, many will dutifully be imbibing Irish whiskey. Calls for the spirit spike around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, but Irish whiskey is holding strong to its designation as the fastest-growing spirits category. Its rate of expansion appears to have slowed, but the growth is off a larger base; […]

Happy Hour Can Add Value to Full-Service Occasions

Full-service restaurants are facing increasing competition from fast-casual and fast-food restaurants as Canadians cut back on spending when dining out. Adult beverage menus and bar dining can be a way for full-service restaurants to differentiate themselves and offer value in a more upscale ambiance. A number of operators already offer food and adult beverage drink […]

Savoury Pies Offer Comfort in Cold Months

Pi Day comes but once a year, and this year’s came with a once-in-a-century nuance: the first five digits of the mathematical constant were included when adding the year, 3/14/15. On Pi Day, much of Canada’s temperatures were still hovering around freezing, so it’s appropriate for Canadians to call on the classic comfort food savoury […]

What We Eat and What We Should Eat

When the advisory committee for the upcoming 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines issued its report in February, the food industry reacted vigorously. The good news got a lot of press: eggs and shellfish aren’t bad for you; three to five cups of coffee a day might even be good for you. And probably nobody was surprised […]