Midscale: No Longer Middling

What’s up with midscale? Midscale restaurants’ same-store sales increased by 5.8% in the first quarter of 2015, outperforming every other segment (the all-industry growth rate was 4.0%). Some chains did even better: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was up 11.4%, Denny’s up 7.4%. This surge is a recent development. The midscale or family-style segment (defined […]

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 […]

Happy Hour Can Add Value to Full-Service Occasions

Full-service restaurants are facing increasing competition from fast-casual and fast-food restaurants as Canadians cut back on spending when dining out. Adult beverage menus and bar dining can be a way for full-service restaurants to differentiate themselves and offer value in a more upscale ambiance. A number of operators already offer food and adult beverage drink […]

Full-Service Restaurants Face Fast-Casual Competition

Canadian full-service restaurants—family-style, traditional casual-dining and upscale casual-dining restaurants—face increasing competition as other parts of the foodservice industry are meeting consumers’ changing needs and expectations. Technomic’s 2015 Canadian Future of FSR: Family & Casual Dining Consumer Trend Report investigates which segments are stealing share of stomach by asking consumers to consider alternatives to full-service occasions. […]

First Impressions Matter at Full-Service Restaurants

It’s no surprise family-style and traditional casual-dining restaurants continue to struggle following the Great Recession. Many factors are working against these segments—a shrinking middle class, increasing interest in the new and different, and competition from the up-and-coming fast-casual segment, to name a few. Due to this onslaught of challenges, full-service restaurants (FSRs) are taking a […]

U.K. Restaurant Brands Roll Out New Concepts

U.K. restaurant operators are looking to expand their reach and serve new audiences by debuting concepts a step above or a step below their original brands’ service style. PAUL, which came in at No. 75 on Technomic’s 2014 list of the Top 100 U.K. Chain Restaurants (based on 2013 U.K. systemwide sales), is among this […]

No Kidding: Kids’ Menus See Growth, Evolution in Canada

At the beginning of the year, we talked about the phenomenon of the incredible shrinking menu: Many Canadian restaurant operators are taking a scalpel to large and unwieldy menus to focus on executing core menu items well and improving operational efficiency. One section of the menu bucking the trend: kids’ menus. From Q4 2012 to Q4 […]

Linked In: Canadian Restaurants Savour Flavourful Sausages

Canadian restaurant operators are stuffing their menus with a wide variety of spicy, savoury sausages. From sliced Italian sausage atop classic red-sauced pastas to chorizo-stuffed fritters and links made of rabbit or duck, sausage is lending its hearty, home-style appeal to both upscale and old-school fare. Canadian consumers have a strong affinity for sausage: At […]

Meatballs Spice Up Canadian Menus

As a new school year gets into gear and temperatures outside slowly start to drop, consumer cravings for heartier comfort foods begin to ramp up. And few items suggest classic comfort fare more so than meatballs do, as Canadian restaurant operators are realizing. The incidence of meatballs on Canadian chain restaurant menus in Technomic’s MenuMonitor […]

Pricing Fast-Casual Restaurant Meals

We know that consumers are willing to shell out a little more for meals at fast-casual restaurants than at fast-food restaurants. Fast casual’s food-and-beverage quality positioning drives this; entrées at fast-casual concepts often are customizable and made to order, and operators frequently tout their use of “all-natural” ingredients, never-frozen beef, scratch-made sides and desserts, etc. […]