Fast Casual Year in Review: More of the Same (But That’s a Good Thing)

The start of 2015 is a mere two weeks away, so it’s time again to look back at the year that was in fast casual. What was the overall theme for the segment in 2014? “More of the same”—which, in fast casual’s case, means sales and unit growth, so that’s a good thing. In Q3 […]

Are You Experience-Focused?

Is your restaurant experience-oriented? Those of us in the foodservice industry hear a lot about how important the overall dining-out experience is to consumers when they’re evaluating a restaurant concept and whether to return to it. It’s the idea that the whole of a restaurant visit is greater than the sum of its parts (e.g. […]

Menu Forecast: Edible Weeds

Although our society often regards weeds as pestilent, operators should look to edible weeds as opportunities at their restaurants. Because weeds are often rampant, they are easy to acquire and inexpensive. Many varieties of garden weeds are tasty and packed with nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and protein. Since we’re already seeing independent restaurant operators nationwide […]

Adult Beverage Consumers: Flush yet Frugal?

Consumers are feeling more financially comfortable this holiday season, which is good news for the adult beverage industry. Recent research from Technomic and American Express finds that two-fifths of consumers say they are “living comfortably” or “very well off,” up from about one-third of consumers surveyed in the same month last year. With gas prices […]

Cocktail Trends 2015: A New Italian Renaissance

Americans are learning to like more-bitter flavors—witness the proliferation in restaurants and at retail of dark (really dark) chocolates, strongly flavored greens such as kale and extra-hoppy beers. In fact, Technomic named “bitter is the new bold” as one of its top 10 food trends for 2015. Appropriately enough, we’re also now seeing this appreciation […]

First Impressions Matter at Full-Service Restaurants

It’s no surprise family-style and traditional casual-dining restaurants continue to struggle following the Great Recession. Many factors are working against these segments—a shrinking middle class, increasing interest in the new and different, and competition from the up-and-coming fast-casual segment, to name a few. Due to this onslaught of challenges, full-service restaurants (FSRs) are taking a […]

Consumers Increasingly Want to Know What’s in Their Food, Reveals New Technomic Study

Today’s healthy food tells a story, and consumers want to hear it. Recent research by Technomic shows that most consumers want restaurants to be more transparent about menu-item ingredients. Further, two in five consumers cite a rising concern over food additives. Because of this growing concern, health claims that convey wholesome, pure ingredients resonate strongly. […]

Merger Conditions Could Boost Burger King’s Image in Canada

UPDATE 11 a.m. CST: Tim Hortons shareholders have approved the chain’s takeover by Burger King, The Globe and Mail reports. The Tim Hortons-Burger King merger is one step closer to completion after the Canadian government signed off on the deal last week. Conditions attached to the deal’s approval could ease any hard feelings harbored by […]

Canadian Consumers Warm Up With Holiday Menus

’Tis the season for holiday offerings at all types of Canadian restaurants. Whether by encouraging an indulgent snack or serving up an entrée that evokes feelings of good cheer, restaurants are in the spirit of promoting holiday-themed limited-time offers. An August poll conducted through Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program shows that Canadian consumers, and young […]

Bar and restaurant alcohol sales to show modest growth in 2015, finds Technomic

Beer and bars struggle, but premiumization and price increases spark dollar growth Drink sales in bars and restaurants are projected to grow modestly in 2015, according to Technomic’s expectations for the on-premise alcohol industry. Conditions at major chain restaurants that serve alcohol are slowly improving, and greater consumer confidence will lead to a more positive […]