Fast-Casual Restaurants Inspire Competitors

New Technomic study finds the segment’s service, menus and décor driving change industrywide.

Fast-casual restaurants represent only about 6 percent of all eateries, but their growth is outpacing other segments and inspiring new menu, service and décor innovations across foodservice, a new Technomic report finds.

The distinctions between fast casual and other segments are beginning to blur, the industry research firm said, as quick-service and full-service brands adopt many features and price points that have fueled the growth of such chains as Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

“Watching the success of fast-casual concepts, quick-service restaurants have adapted by improving menu items and adding fresh positioning,” Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based Technomic, wrote in an email to Nation’s Restaurant News. “Leading QSRs, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, are upgrading to fast-casual-like décor, and Chick-fil-A is testing table delivery.” Read More

Posted on October 25, 2011 and filed under Best Practices.