What Fast Casual Gets Right About Burger Trends

The “better burger” segment was already on a roll, but economic factors have begun to exert even more pressure on cheeseburger-focused brands in ways that will favor fast casual over quick service. According to data in the 2015 Burger Consumer Trend Report, total burger consumption appears to have peaked and leveled off since 2013, likely […]

Fast-Casual Pizza: A Familiar Growth Story, with a Twist

The rise of build-your-own pizza is reminiscent of the explosive growth over the past five years of the better-burger segment. But there is an important difference. Unlike traditional quick-service burger chains, which have struggled to defend their traffic and market share from this new fast-casual competition, most of the giant pizza chains are growing sales […]

Burgers Are Back—Again

When it closed its initial public offering in January, Shake Shack had raised more than $112 million—which MarketWatch calculated as about $150 for each burger it sold last year. The Habit Burger Grill had a similarly spectacular IPO in November, and excitement is building for Smashburger’s expected stock-market debut later this year. Does the outsize […]

Fast-Casual Challenges: When ‘Good’ Isn’t Good Enough

A friend recently raved to me about a great burger he had had from a fast-casual spot that opened recently along his route home from work. The burger and toppings were solid, the fries were tasty, and the price was right, he reported. That’s great, I replied; where was it? He couldn’t remember the name […]

Three Year-End U.K. Burger Trends

Mark 2013 as another busy year for burgers in the U.K. Three imported fast-casual burger chains made their London debut in July. Meanwhile, two homegrown better-burger players, Handmade Burger Co. and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, looked to revitalise: Handmade rolled out a new menu this fall, and GBK is in the middle of an 18-month drive […]

Is Pizza the Next Fast-Casual Frontier in the U.K.?

The fast-casual dining revolution has always been about answering one question: Why isn’t it possible to get a better-quality, freshly prepared (pick your menu item) more quickly, and at an affordable price point? Burgers have seen the bulk of the attention from U.K. operators looking to answer this question in the past two years. Imported […]

In Canada, Building Better “Better for You” Burgers

Technomic’s recent Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report offers an in-depth look at consumers’ burger preferences and ordering habits across a range of restaurant segments. One key takeaway from the report is that a significant share of Canadian diners—and in particular, younger diners—are looking not just for better burgers but also for burgers they believe to […]

Smashburger CEO: ‘We’re Still in the Second Inning’

Smashburger CEO Dave Prokupek has found himself in the news a lot lately, discussing the Denver-based chain’s ambitious growth plans and its vision of remaking the U.S. burger landscape one smashed, seared and seasoned patty at a time. Smashburger has added about 50 units in each of the past two years, ending 2012 with 193 […]

Surviving the Canadian Better-Burger Shakeout

There’s no doubt that American and Canadian chains are competing for better-burger traffic, as popular American restaurant chains, such as Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Fatburger, Smashburger and even now, Carl’s, Jr. and Famous Dave’s, are continuing to make their way into Canadian territory. In fact, it seems as if there is no end to […]

New Technomic Report Examines Factors Driving High Burger Consumption

Consumers are eating burgers more often than ever before, according to new research from Technomic. The overwhelming majority of consumers (95 percent) say they eat burgers at least once a month—and cravings are driving this high consumption. Half of consumers (49 percent) cite cravings as one of the top reasons they purchased a burger on […]