Are We Facing a Restaurant Recession?

The Top 500 restaurant market is in a slump right now. With the lead dining brands’ same-store sales visibly lagging this past second quarter, some analysts and reporters are even using the phrase “restaurant recession.” At reporting chains, year-over-year same-store sales only increased half of a percentage point in quarter two, the slowest growth seen […]

Brand Image Strongly Influences Brand Performance

Free burritos, transparent food safety improvements, loyalty incentives — none of these attractive initiatives seem to be able to resuscitate Chipotle’s tanking sales. Since the fast-casual chain’s E.coli and norovirus problems last fall, Chipotle has reported three straight quarters of double-digit same-store sales declines. In its second-quarter financial results released last month, Chipotle announced that […]

Classic Sandwich Shops Get a Gourmet Update

In Canada, classic sandwich shops are entering the modern age. Cropping up across the country are restaurants focused entirely on providing premium sandwiches to a trendy clientele. At these eateries, menus are focused to guarantee sandwich quality; store footprints are small and adaptable to suit high-traffic areas; and units offer a contemporary look and feel. […]

Fast-Casual Upstarts Recruit Big-Time Investors for Accelerated Growth

LeBron James has made another monumental decision to switch teams, and while this one did not require a self-indulgent TV special—or cause any of my colleagues from Ohio to burn his jersey—it probably will turn out to be another shrewd move to a winning organization. The basketball star has cut ties with McDonald’s and will […]

Opportunity Exists for Fast Casuals to Boost Lunch Sales

We already know that fast-casual chains’ sales growth outpaces that of its industry counterparts, but data taken from Technomic’s recently published Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report along with the 2014 Lunch Consumer Trend Report suggests there may be one daypart where these chains can do even better: lunch. The Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report […]

Additive-free burgers grow in Canada

Now, more than ever, consumers are paying attention to what goes into their food. Public scrutiny is intensifying over additives and their impact on health. Consumers are turning to “health-halo” labels like organic, all-natural and sustainable to feel good about what they eat. In fact, research from Technomic’s 2015 Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report reveals […]

How Fast Casual Tops Franchise Growth with Better Bottom Lines

Nobody should be surprised that fast casual leads all other industry segments in overall sales growth and unit growth. Observers could plainly see that in Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, or with their own eyes, as the newest restaurants in town are probably fast-casual concepts and are probably packed with a line to the […]

Fast Casual Attracts Investors

Typically, Technomic’s ConcepTrac newsletter highlights four concepts featuring a shared characteristic—such as a similar service format or cuisine. The August issue however focuses on a similarity that exists outside restaurant walls. All four of Technomic’s featured concepts—Chicken Salad Chick, Honeygrow, MAKE OUT and Naf Naf Grill—are recent recipients of investments from private equity firms. It’s […]

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 […]

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 […]