Delivering the Future of Fast Casual

Dozens of fast-casual brands have been making smart investments in the guest experience within their restaurants, from remodeled dining rooms to digital kiosks or apps that make ordering faster and easier. Some forward-thinking chains are making these in-restaurant improvements now, laying the groundwork for a future in which that level of service extends “beyond the […]

Starbucks Canada Expands the Brand with New Service, Menu Offerings

Starbucks Canada has room to grow, and some recently announced initiatives have the potential to boost sales and expand the coffee chain’s core customer base. Starbucks made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it would offer wine, beer and tapas-style small plates at the chain’s Toronto and other big-city locations by the end of […]

Consumer Trends Continue to Evolve in 2015

It’s difficult to anticipate the next shift in restaurant consumers’ preferences and need states, but operators can count on one expectation heading into 2015: Consumers will expect more from their brands, especially in the areas of technological amenities and food quality. Meeting those evolving demands will require restaurant leaders to invest heavily in their brands. […]

Advancing Technology in Fast Casual

Heading into 2015, one of the most important trends in the foodservice industry will be technology. Fast-casual restaurants’ position with Millennials and Gen Z will make it even more important for this segment to be ahead of the curve. Three-quarters of consumers today—and nine in 10 between the ages of 18 and 34—own a smartphone […]

The Digital Disruption of the Foodservice Supply Chain

The North American foodservice supply chain remains surprisingly entrenched in a bygone era; one in which the absence of published prices, uniform product codes, and scanner data puts independent operators at a marked disadvantage to their wholesale-distributor suppliers. While operators can combat the system’s complexity by joining a group purchasing organization (GPO) or shopping at […]

Technomic’s Take: 2015 Food Trends

The restaurant industry is evolving faster than ever, according to leading food research and consulting firm Technomic. Technology, consumer and menu trends are all revolutionizing foodservice. Technomic lays out 10 trends that its consultants and experts believe may be transformative in 2015. Predictions are based on Technomic research including consumer and operator surveys and site […]

Missed Call: Mobile Engagement with Restaurants Lags in Canada

“Mobile is the future.” How often—and for how long—have we been hearing that? Few (if any) foodservice trend-watchers would dispute that the activities restaurant-goers used to carry out by landline phone or by desktop computer (make a reservation, get information about a restaurant, place a food order) at some point will be tasks performed largely […]

In Fast Casual, Thinking Big When it Comes to Change

Go big or go home: That seems to be the order of the day at Panda Express and Panera Bread, both of which this spring announced major brand revitalization plans. The initiatives are aimed at helping the two chains—currently No. 3 and No. 1, respectively, in the fast-casual category—maintain their lead in an evolving market. […]

Technology as a Driver of Limited-Service Restaurant Visits

Despite their low check average relative to full-service concepts, limited-service restaurants (LSRs) account for half of all foodservice sales; they posted earnings of $231 billion in 2013. The segment’s success is in visit frequency, as 64 percent of consumers report visiting fast-food concepts once a week and 40 percent report visiting fast-casuals with that frequency. […]

Tech-Savvy Dining [Infographic]

Technology is becoming ever more relevant for the foodservice industry, as many aspects of the restaurant visit—such as ordering, payment and loyalty programs—continue to go digital. This week’s Consumer Flash infographic takes a look at the experience of Tech-Savvy Dining. Having trouble viewing our Infographic in Firefox? Try installing the latest Firefox pdf viewer. You […]