Chicken Flocks to Canada’s Limited-Service Segment

As burger and pizza concepts continue to saturate the limited-service segment, chicken concepts are beginning to take off in Canada. Whereas many chains are expanding menus to suit a variety of tastes, menus at chicken concepts are focused and limited, building a strong sense of specialization and differentiation. Operators are picking particular chicken preparations and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Growth in Saturated Coffee Segment

The coffee café market is well saturated, especially thanks to segment leader—and leader of Canada’s foodservice industry as a whole—Tim Hortons. Coffee cafés will be forced to battle this market saturation by tapping into new strategies, including international expansion, retail product development and licensing, and new and expanded occasions. The last of these three is […]

Why Fast Casual Powers the Sandwich Segment’s Growth

When the initial results of Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report were released last month, the biggest news story to emerge was Subway’s fall from its perch as the second-largest restaurant chain in the United States in terms of annual sales. Implied in that story was a trend many years in the making: Fast-casual sandwich […]

What Subway’s Sales Decline Says About the Restaurant Industry

Subway’s fall from second-largest restaurant chain to No. 3 in Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, the prevailing story line in a study full of intriguing developments, reveals a lot more than just how one brand is struggling to hold on to its market share. The chain’s 3.3% decrease in estimated annual sales means about […]

New Full-Service Spinoffs Heat Up Competition in Fast Casual

The restaurant industry has been abuzz with the success of fast casual, and full-service restaurants have made their own attempts to get in on the action. Recently, a new crop of full-service restaurants is launching fast-casual spinoffs in the hopes of capturing the increasing number of consumers in search of high-quality, convenient fare at a lower price […]

State of the Alcohol Beverage Industry 2015: Small Is Big

The early results from 2014 tell a very clear story about the dynamics at play in the alcohol industry: The small are getting bigger, and the big, for the most part, aren’t. Beer held its majority share of total alcohol volume, but another year of overall decline resulted in beer again ceding some share to […]

What Wall Street Sees

To gauge what 2015 may bring, I’d like to explore the surge in IPOs, acquisitions and private-equity investments in restaurants. A closer look at the chains making financial news shows us where investors think industry growth will occur. At least in the short run, those who bought into restaurants’ initial public offerings in 2014 have […]

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 […]