Top 500 Results Are In: LSRs Win Big

Results from our recently released 2016 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report reveal a powerful story of sales growth and comebacks at many leading restaurant chains. Total Top 500 sales grew 5.0%, up from 4.2% growth in 2014 and 3.5% growth in 2013. The limited-service segment drove much of this success, charting a 5.5% sales increase […]

The On-Demand Delivery Revolution

We have just released Technomic’s trend predictions for the coming year. I’d like to take a closer look at No. 10—what we’re calling “The Delivery Revolution”—which may transform the foodservice industry more than the other nine trends put together. The proliferation of order-and-pay mobile apps and third-party online ordering and delivery services like GrubHub is […]

It’s Pumpkin Spice Season

It’s October, which means Halloween decorations are up, the leaves are changing color, and pumpkin spice has once again dominated menus as the favorite seasonal flavor. According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, Pumpkin Spice menu incidence increased 42% in non-alcoholic beverages since last year, revealing that customer demand is as strong as ever. Starbucks, Panera Bread, Dunkin […]

Fast-Casual Restaurants Enhance Catering Programs

Fast-casual restaurants are elevating their catering programs to increase sales. Catering and delivery services are becoming essential to eateries looking to grow within the fast-casual segment. This year, operators have introduced catering to new markets, tested delivery service, updated menus and launched catering promotions: Native Foods Café and Donatos Pizza are growing their catering programs. […]

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 Takes Early Lead in Technology Race

Fast casual, the clear standout segment of the restaurant industry for the past decade, has had several advantages contributing to its growth and to its gains in market share at the expense of quick-service and casual-dining brands. Consumers have been drawn to fast casual’s service, ingredient quality and price point, and now, with the latest […]

Fast Casuals Smooth Over Health Concerns with ‘Buff’ Items

Diet trends come and go—the South Beach and Atkins crazes of a decade ago have given way to today’s “paleo” and “primal” diets—but considerations about health and nutrition are a constant. Today, consumers want to maintain their health but still use restaurants to indulge. The latest round of menu development in fast casual reflects this […]

5 Charts That Explain McDonald’s Move Toward Antibiotic-Free Chicken

A major portion of McDonald’s supply chain is getting the Chipotle Mexican Grill treatment, as the world’s largest burger chain will begin sourcing chicken only from poultry suppliers that don’t use human antibiotics on their animals. Leaders of the Golden Arches also announced McDonald’s would only sell milk from cows that have not been treated […]

Delivering the Future of Fast Casual

Dozens of fast-casual brands have been making smart investments in the guest experience within their restaurants, from remodeled dining rooms to digital kiosks or apps that make ordering faster and easier. Some forward-thinking chains are making these in-restaurant improvements now, laying the groundwork for a future in which that level of service extends “beyond the […]

Fast Casual’s Healthy Dose of Reinvention

Perceptions of better health have always weighed in fast-casual restaurants’ favor, which is probably why more brands are renewing their focus on healthfulness in the hopes of restarting or accelerating sales growth. R.J. Dourney, the chief executive and largest franchisee of Così Inc., said precisely that in a recent interview with Nation’s Restaurant News, calling […]