What Higher Wages Mean for Foodservice

Across the nation, minimum wages are going up. Los Angeles will raise wages to $15 per hour by 2020. Chicago will boost hourly pay to $13 by 2019. New York state will likely approve a hike to $15 per hour by late 2018, but oddly, only for workers in fast-food chains. Some companies have even […]

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 […]

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 […]

Millennials Propel the Tech Revolution

In just a few years, technology at restaurants has evolved from a novelty into an expectation for consumers. As technology can no longer be overlooked as a key element of the guest experience, we have revised the 60+ attributes tracked in our Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program to include several new ones related to technology. […]

Starbucks Canada Expands the Brand with New Service, Menu Offerings

Starbucks Canada has room to grow, and some recently announced initiatives have the potential to boost sales and expand the coffee chain’s core customer base. Starbucks made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it would offer wine, beer and tapas-style small plates at the chain’s Toronto and other big-city locations by the end of […]

Consumer Trends Continue to Evolve in 2015

It’s difficult to anticipate the next shift in restaurant consumers’ preferences and need states, but operators can count on one expectation heading into 2015: Consumers will expect more from their brands, especially in the areas of technological amenities and food quality. Meeting those evolving demands will require restaurant leaders to invest heavily in their brands. […]

Advancing Technology in Fast Casual

Heading into 2015, one of the most important trends in the foodservice industry will be technology. Fast-casual restaurants’ position with Millennials and Gen Z will make it even more important for this segment to be ahead of the curve. Three-quarters of consumers today—and nine in 10 between the ages of 18 and 34—own a smartphone […]

Missed Call: Mobile Engagement with Restaurants Lags in Canada

“Mobile is the future.” How often—and for how long—have we been hearing that? Few (if any) foodservice trend-watchers would dispute that the activities restaurant-goers used to carry out by landline phone or by desktop computer (make a reservation, get information about a restaurant, place a food order) at some point will be tasks performed largely […]

In Fast Casual, Thinking Big When it Comes to Change

Go big or go home: That seems to be the order of the day at Panda Express and Panera Bread, both of which this spring announced major brand revitalization plans. The initiatives are aimed at helping the two chains—currently No. 3 and No. 1, respectively, in the fast-casual category—maintain their lead in an evolving market. […]

Technology as a Driver of Limited-Service Restaurant Visits

Despite their low check average relative to full-service concepts, limited-service restaurants (LSRs) account for half of all foodservice sales; they posted earnings of $231 billion in 2013. The segment’s success is in visit frequency, as 64 percent of consumers report visiting fast-food concepts once a week and 40 percent report visiting fast-casuals with that frequency. […]