The following is an excerpt from Paul Barron’s new book, “The Chipotle Effect,” slated for publication in 2012. Visit the website to get the full copy of “The Chipotle Effect.” Reprinted with permission by the author.
Our business will evolve. That much is certain. It’s been evolving since the first McDonald’s opened its doors. What’s changed is the speed of that adaptation and change. It’s increased a hundredfold. So while the consumer love affair with fast casual is at a peak and the future looks extremely bright, it’s impossible to predict where the evolutionary process will take us.
The increasing power of the Web and social media will have a profound impact on the restaurant business over the next two decades. For those who adapt well, the impact will be unimaginably fast growth and profitability. For those who resist, the effects will be devastating.
The next Chipotle Effect is out there right now, probably taking shape in the worlds of mobile media, information search, or a new iteration of the social network. Figuring out the nature of this next leap forward for fast casual is the Holy Grail of this industry. Fast casual has forever changed the landscape of the American restaurant industry in a way that has given us the chance to connect meaningfully to the new consumer in ways that fast food never could. Only through foresight will we leverage this opportunity. Read More