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 […]

Bowling for Dollars: Bowls Are Here to Stay on LSR Menus

Bowls are proving to be a menu force that’s here to stay at limited-service restaurants, alongside menu staples like sandwiches and salads. The bowl format became a mainstream hit around 2003 when Chipotle debuted its Burrito Bowl. KFC followed suit by launching its KFC Famous Bowls in 2006. Since then, the bowl category has grown […]

Bigger Isn’t Always Better as ‘Better’ Grows Bigger in 2014

Goliaths are getting a little unsteady on their feet, and Davids are flexing their muscles. Technomic’s upcoming 2015 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report shows that Subway has been dethroned as the No. 2 chain in America, falling to Starbucks—which grew U.S. sales 8.2% in 2014. Starbucks and other beverage chains capitalized on today’s 24-7 snacking […]

As Costs Rise, Value Key to Driving Traffic

Falling gas prices and recent news of the Canadian Dairy Commission’s move to reduce prices by 1.8% starting March 1 could be good news for restaurant operators struggling with rising commodity prices and a sluggish economy. But with prices on staples like beef and coffee expected to continue to rise this year, Canadian restaurant operators […]

Younger Diners Drive Growth For Canadian Limited-Service Restaurants

What do Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Thai Express and Starbucks have in common? All saw double-digit percentage sales growth in Canada in 2013—and all are significantly more likely to be visited at least occasionally by 18- to 34-year-olds than by consumers ages 35 and up. That’s one intriguing finding we can identify by comparing restaurant […]

The State of Fast Casual in Canada

The fast-casual restaurant segment saw strong sales growth of 13.9% in Canada in 2013. Canadians’ use of fast-casual restaurants, however, significantly trails their use of fast-food concepts and lags well behind U.S. consumers’ fast-casual patronage. Those are two key takeaways from Technomic’s new Canadian Future of LSR: Fast-Food and Fast-Casual Restaurants Consumer Trend Report, which […]

Five Key Fast-Casual Findings from Technomic’s LSR Report

We’ve discussed the threat of growing pains for the fast-casual restaurant segment, as the fast-casual space becomes more crowded and fast-food and casual-dining concepts aim to reclaim some of the business they’ve lost to the new(er) kids on the restaurant block. Now, new research from Technomic’s Future of LSR: Fast-Food & Fast-Casual Restaurant Consumer Trend […]

Canadians’ Favourite Chain Restaurants Are Sales Leaders, Too

Last week in Toronto, Technomic honoured winners of the 2014 Canadian Consumers’ Choice Awards. These awards recognize Canadian limited- and full-service chain restaurants that consumers rate as standouts in five specific areas of excellence: kid-friendliness, friendliness of service, craveability, availability of healthy menu options and social responsibility. Interestingly, looking at data from Technomic’s new Top […]

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. […]

Bold New Barbecue Items for Summer on Canadian Menus

’Tis the season (finally) for barbecue, and Canadian restaurant operators are ready to satisfy consumer cravings for the smoky flavours of the grill with an assortment of new ’cue offerings. One highlight of several selections on menus this spring is multilayered barbecue flavours—for example, chipotle-honey barbecue sauce (at Montana’s Cookhouse), a Korean barbecue glaze (at […]