Sarah Janssen is an Assistant Editor at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. She is responsible for writing and editing content for the company’s newsletters, blog and other publications. Prior to joining Technomic, she held various roles reporting and editing for daily and weekly newspapers.

Forecasting the Future of Fast Casual

It’s no secret that fast casual has experienced a remarkable amount of growth, attracting an increasing number of players to the segment. So what’s next for this powerhouse segment within the industry? Well, if the fast-casual sector has a natural growth limit, we’re not seeing it yet, but what we do see are some challenges […]

Five Takeaways from Technomic’s Top 200 Canadian Chains Report

The Top 200 Canadian chain restaurants, ranked by sales, continued their growth trajectory in 2014, increasing sales by 4.4% and adding units at a rate of 2.1%. This year’s Technomic rankings welcomed 14 newcomers to a list that boasts a total of $31 billion in sales. During a recent webinar, we explored top trends and […]

How Fast Casual Can Win Hispanic Consumers

Restaurants cannot ignore the growing Hispanic population and the spending power these consumers hold. Understanding the needs and how to reach these consumers is crucial for any foodservice operation. Specific areas of opportunity exist in fast casual that could help entice Hispanic consumers to spend their foodservice dollars in the segment. Since 2013, Hispanic consumers’ […]

Fast-Casual Spring Menu Items Bring the Heat

Spicy flavors are here to stay, driven by the men and younger consumers who prefer them. As temperatures rise outside, fast-casual restaurants are bringing the heat to the menu as well. The “spicy” callout is still growing on fast-casual menus, up about 3% from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, […]

Lobster Is Still a Good Catch on Canadian Menus

The upcoming Canadian lobster season is currently on ice—delayed due to impassable shores—but when the season commences, Canadians will likely see even more of the succulent crustacean this year. Lobster’s versatility makes it an attractive ingredient for operators to experiment with. Canadian lobster landings remain among the highest levels recorded in 100 years and have […]

Nando’s Inspires African Flavor Influences

Consumers in general, and younger ones in particular, don’t shy away from bold flavors and in fact are demanding them. This has only accelerated the spread of ethnic foods and infusions on menus. A new global influence is gaining speed, largely attributed to the emerging fast-casual chain Nando’s, a chicken concept that began in 1987 […]

A Winning Combination: Cobranding in the Bottle

Thanks to flavor innovation from New Belgium Brewing Co., consumers can have their beer and ice cream, too. The Colorado-based craft brewery teamed up with iconic ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s to create Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, expected to make its debut this fall. Cobranding among adult beverages and restaurant brands on menus […]

Canadian Restaurants Still Crazy About Kale

Kale has transitioned from being a center-of-the-plate accompaniment to taking a starring role in dishes, in part because it’s famously high in nutrients. Restaurant operators are adding in various flavours to elevate kale’s taste while touting the health benefits of the leafy green. Mentions of kale on Canadian menus have grown 33% in the latest […]

Fast Casuals Add Options Kids Enjoy, Parents Approve

Fast-casual restaurants’ reputation for healthy, high-quality food and its status with Millennials should make the segment top-of-mind for family dining-out occasions. Technomic’s latest menu data shows that some fast casuals are stepping up their kids’ menus in ways consistent with their values and positioning to capture these occasions. Technomic MenuMonitor data for the first quarter […]

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 […]