Top 500 Brands Keep Franchisees Close — and Sales Growth Closer

If I had a dollar for every time over the past five years that I’ve heard, “Franchisees are just better at running stores than giant corporate brands,” I would probably have enough money to pay any chain’s franchisee fee and build a new restaurant. Such conventional wisdom seemed airtight recently, as franchise-unit openings have far […]

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 […]

Channel Wars Challenge Operators

Here’s a little “name that channel” exercise: Beyond the sushi station, soft drink fountain area and the large merchandiser filled with prepared salads and sandwiches, adjacent to the take-and-bake pizza display, stands a six-shelf unit filled with wine. Four shelves hold red and white wine bottles, two hold sparklers, including six-packs; bottles of sangria are […]

Why Fast Casual Shouldn’t Sleep on Dinner, Late-night Dayparts

Consumers’ growing interest in restaurants for dinner and late-night snacking is creating new sales opportunities for brands across the industry, but fast-casual chains may have the most to gain from an increase in business in the evenings. Fast casual’s recent industry-leading overall growth in unit count indicates that consumers like the segment’s proposition of food […]

Fast Casual Year in Review: More of the Same (But That’s a Good Thing)

The start of 2015 is a mere two weeks away, so it’s time again to look back at the year that was in fast casual. What was the overall theme for the segment in 2014? “More of the same”—which, in fast casual’s case, means sales and unit growth, so that’s a good thing. In Q3 […]

How Canadian C-Stores Can Win More Meals-on-the-Go

When you have a late-night craving or desperately need coffee, is a fast-food restaurant or a convenience store (c-store) more likely to come to mind? If you’re like most consumers, you’d probably say a fast-food restaurant. In fact, in Technomic’s latest Canadian Future of LSR and Canadian Convenience-Store Foodservice Consumer Trend Reports, 58% of consumers […]

Liquid Assets: Strong Growth for Adult Beverage-Centered Restaurants

Adult beverages take center stage at a new generation of casual-dining chain restaurants built on the premise that the beer, wine or cocktails menu deserves as much attention as the food menu. These concepts—Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Yard House and Eddie Merlot’s among them—also have banked on the belief that today’s increasingly beverage-savvy consumer […]

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 […]

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 […]