Chipotle Proves That Fast Food Is Out Of Touch With Consumers

PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA

PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA

Today's fast food industry cares about cost and ease over quality ingredients and taste. However, consumers are more conscious about what they are putting into their bodies and would rather pay extra for a healthy sustainable meal over getting something off of a dollar menu. Chipotle proves once again that spending more on fresh ingredients and charging a fair price will generate great business. Chipotle's success is evident this year as it opens 132 new restaurants. Chipotle's new concepts, ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen and Pizzeria Locale are also experiencing success. Although Chipotle anticipates slower, steady growth in 2015, you can bet that they will still be the top choice over QSR's such as McDonalds. To learn more about Chipotle's success this quarter, click here

Posted on October 22, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Delivering an Experience With Fast Casual

PHOTO CREDIT: RESTAURANT-HOSPITALITY.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: RESTAURANT-HOSPITALITY.COM

Even though restaurant operators across the globe are in search of the out-of-the-box idea for the next restaurant idea they all have one common goal, creating the ultimate experience. 

Innovation drives the customer experience, and state-of-the-art delivery service is a key quality of a successful restaurant - right along with the quality of your food. The Melt restaurant has been gaining public attention due to their new and innovative catering packaging. The Smart Box thermal food container gives The Melt the ability to keep their sandwiches hot during the process of delivery. Even Francesco's Pizzeria in Mumbai, India is now using drones to deliver their pizza's quickly and efficiently. Now thats smart! Read more here about the food delivery experience.

Posted on October 20, 2014 and filed under Restaurant Innovations.

Chipotle's Pizzeria Locale Introduces A New Flavorful Crust

PHOTO CREDIT: @PIZZERIALOCALE TWITTER

PHOTO CREDIT: @PIZZERIALOCALE TWITTER

Apparently we have been making pizza crust wrong since World War II, according to Chipotle's Pizzeria Locale. Bobby Stuckey, cofounder of the pizzeria claims that the flour that has been used for decades is not tasty nor healthy. Rather than use the same traditional double-zero flour like everybody else, Pizzeria Locale makes their new crust from Edison Wheat, which has more flavor and nutrients. With this new development, Chipotle continues to change the food industry, particularly for quick service and fast casual restaurants. To learn more, click here!

Posted on October 17, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Vegan Fast Casual is Headed Nationwide

PHOTO CREDIT: GAPERSBLOCK.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: GAPERSBLOCK.COM

Calling all Vegans! You're in luck, Native Foods Cafe is making it's way across the country as what's known to be called the 'hippie movement.'

 

Everything on the Native Foods Cafe menu is 100% vegan, even the American classics mac & cheese and the bacon cheeseburger. How is this possible you ask? Co-owners Jackie Perez and Andrea McGinty have altered everyday favorites into vegan delicacies and by mapping out proteins which their dishes provide, customers have a better feeling of knowing what's in their foods. Since their September 30th opening, the DC location has accumulated over 600 customers a day. WOW. Looking forward to seeing what's next for this fast casual restaurant on the rise. Read more here

Posted on October 15, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual, Fast Casual Nation.

Salsarita's Opens Cantina with New Prototype Design

PHOTO CREDIT: RESTAURANTNEWS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: RESTAURANTNEWS.COM

Salsarita's Fresh Cantina opened their newest location in September at Indian Land, SC. What's different about this restaurant compared to the other branches Salsarita's obtains is the new prototype design that is a template for all future stores. 

This new design was created to better serve customers. By offering a curved-like service line, Salsaritians are able to tend to their customers at a quicker rate, which of course leads to happier customers. The new 'fresh' look is the beginning of a new re-brand of the company. With a new color scheme, branded graphics, and digital menu boards the new look will be coming to a town near you! Read more here.

Posted on October 10, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Oh Canada! What's Up With Fast Casual?

PHOTO CREDIT: PRAGUE.TV

PHOTO CREDIT: PRAGUE.TV

We all know that here in America fast casual restaurant popularities are skyrocketing, but what about in our neighboring countries? This articles explores Canada and what struggles they are facing in the fast casual and limited-service segments.

Canadian consumers want more. They want the American high-tech living that we all currently reside in. Some requests within their fast casual segments include attributes that American companies have already possessed: WiFi, loyalty programs, etc. What else can these quick-serve, limited-service and fast casual restaurants offer to customers to make them more attractive? Pretty much the same changes that we are experiencing here in America, check them out here.

Posted on October 8, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Asian Box Is Doing Fast-Casual Right

PHOTO CREDIT: ASIAN BOX

PHOTO CREDIT: ASIAN BOX

Nation's Restaurant News's 2013 Breakout Brand, Asian Box, is seeking growth in the challenging fast-casual market. By the end of 2015, CEO Frank Klein hopes to open double the amount of restaurants. He talks about the importance of growth and the impact of Asian cuisine in the fast-casual segment. This genre of food is not only high in flavor but also if done right, healthier than typical American dishes. The brand is also testing out a concept called Bar in The Box, with the hopes of providing delicious, affordable beverages and taking more traffic away from expensive Asian restaurants. To learn more about Asian Box and the challenges of the fast-casual segment, click here.

Posted on October 1, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual, Restaurant News.

Yum! Brands Challenges Chipotle With Bánh Mì

PHOTO CREDIT: YUM BRANDS

PHOTO CREDIT: YUM BRANDS

Yum! Brands is testing out a new Vietnamese fast-food concept in Texas: Banh Shop. Opening in two separate locations in Dallas, this Vietnamese fast-food concept seeks to challenge Chipotle's Southeast Asian offshoot, ShopHouse. The focus of this restaurant is on Bánh Mì sandwiches, which are typically filled with pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, or grilled pork with cilantro, pickled carrots, and cucumbers inside a baguette. The restaurant also has menu items such as "The American" which uses ham and salami, that will help attract domestic markets.

Is the U.S. fast-casual segment ready for Southeast Asian Cuisine? This new idea just might be what the fast-casual industry is missing. If you love Bánh Mì and want to learn more, click here.

Posted on September 29, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual, Restaurant News.

Smashburger Leads In The Fast Casual Industry

PHOTO CREDIT: SMASHBURGER

PHOTO CREDIT: SMASHBURGER

The fast casual industry continues to grow as more and more people discover the importance of what they are putting into their bodies. You can be sure that fast casual restaurants will provide you with healthier, higher quality food than our cheap, go-to QSR: McDonalds. Consumers also appreciate the cleaner and inviting environments that fast casual restaurants provide over fast-food chains. FastCasual.com looked at the restaurants in the industry and compiled the top 50 restaurants according to unit and revenue growth. Smashburger took the number one spot, beating out big favorites Chipotle and Panera. Smashbuger introduced new items that play off one of America's favorite food, the burger, thanks to their new CEO who gives credit to their renewed focus on menu innovation.  To learn more about the rankings and Smashburger's success, click here.

Posted on September 26, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Johnny Rockets Launches Drive-Thru Spinoff

PHOTO CREDIT: JOHNNY ROCKETS

PHOTO CREDIT: JOHNNY ROCKETS

Johnny Rockets is launching a drive thru spinoff called, Route 66, that will focus on entering the 'better burger segment'. This new concept will allow the company to grow their market by making it easier to expand across the U.S. At the same time, it will also allow Johnny Rockets to compete with fast casual brands as well as pull in diners. Johnny Rockets is going after individuals who are willing to pay higher prices for better quality food. In order to stand out and attract their target demographic, Johnny Rockets is incorporating enhanced technology in their drive thru, from video monitors to relay an order to entertaining videos up until customers get their food. Apart from the drive thru, there are three other prototypes including a drive-in movie restaurant, a food truck, and a pop-up. To learn more about what Johnny Rockets has in store, click here.

Posted on September 24, 2014 and filed under Restaurant News.

Try It Out! Durability Testing in POS Systems is Crucial

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

POS systems are a key component to running a smooth operating system in the restaurant industry. What if yours went out mid-day lunch rush because a glass of water spilt on it? A total OMG moment.

This is why testing out POS systems before purchase is IDEAL and RECOMMENDED! Yes software and hardware are all equally as important to the system itself, but let's take a look at how a situation out of our hands can effect the company. If your company offers outdoor dining, seaside, the salty air and weather conditions can take a toll on your outdoor POS system. Nobody wants to delay their customers because of a faulty system. So think ahead! Test out your system before purchase, you never know what you might find yourself getting into. Read more here.

Posted on September 22, 2014 and filed under Technology.

Millennials Dropping Big Money on Better Food

PHOTO CREDIT: BLOOMBERG

PHOTO CREDIT: BLOOMBERG

 

Fast casual is stealing the spotlight from QSR by the minute, can you blame em'?


With the decrease of QSR popularity, fast casual dining is winning the hearts of not only the millennial generation, but generation z and the baby boomers are not far behind. From a recent study conducted, the baby boomer generation saw a 18-percent decrease in QSR visits where generation Z only saw 11-percent. Why such a large jump you ask? Well lets think about the ages here, as a baby boomer you are able to afford the higher cost of fast casual dining. Even though this cost is not sky-rocketing high, it is a cost in which the young generation Z's are not able to afford at the moment. With millennials at an alarming 20-percent decrease in visits to QSR and a 42-percent increase to fast casual, we are able to the the generation in which fast casual has impacted most. Read more here.

Posted on September 19, 2014 .

McDonalds Sales Struggle To Fast Casual, Taking A Plunge

PHOTO CREDIT: NEWS.INVESTORS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NEWS.INVESTORS.COM


Chipotle is swimming in cash while McDonalds is .... doing better? 


Even with the plethora of consumers switching to fast casual restaurants due to health-related decisions, McDonalds still is #1 on the leaderboard for quick service restaurants, making more than Chipotle. But what about new beginnings?

McDonalds is struggling in the store opening department, dropping 3.7% in august and the third-quarter earnings are not looking that hot either.The reason for this failure?  CEO Don Thompson states that "sluggish industry growth in a highly competitive marketplace" is what is holding McDonalds back from its usual glory. Read more about McDonalds struggle here.

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Fast Casual Chinese Restaurant Coming to San Francisco

PHOTO CREDIT: SKINNYMS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: SKINNYMS.COM

COMING SOON: FAT NOODLE, SF

 

With 2014 quickly coming to an end, as well as fast casual trends at a steady incline, we can almost guarantee that we will be seeing more and more fast casuals popping up within the next year. Saison's very own Josh Skenes, will be launching 'Fat Noodle' in San Francisco in early 2015 or late 2014. A menu consisting of West Chinese flavors and noodles, this fast casual concept is sure to be a hot commodity in the city. 

Partnering with Umami Burger's Adam Fleischman, Fat Noodle seems to be an idea sparked quite some time ago. Fleischman enjoyed Skenes meals so much that he began pondering the ability to create a dining experience specifically for him. Learn more about

Posted on September 15, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

'Build Your Own Burger' at McDonalds? What?

PHOTO CREDIT: UT SANDIEGO

PHOTO CREDIT: UT SANDIEGO

You heard us right, Ronald McDonald is currently testing the San Diego area with their new state-of-the-art (and customer friendly might we add) Build Your Own Burger concept. This new effort to win the hearts of not only the millenials, but as well as the young, and tech-obsessed generation Z by creating a whole new line of toppings and sauces to play with, as well as providing table-side service. Even though McDonalds is behind other top restaurant chains on a service similar to this concept, it still seems to be making waves. Can we see this in our local McDonalds worldwide in 2015? Read more here.

Posted on September 12, 2014 and filed under Technology.

Blaze Pizza Announces Yet Another Michigan Fast Casual Build-Your-Own-Pizza Location

PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM @GODENIZA80

PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM @GODENIZA80


Kalamazoo, Michigan! Blaze Pizza is coming for you!


The grand opening of Blaze Pizza's third Michigan location will be this Thursday, September 11th at 5015 West Main Street. Through the influence of social media, Blaze will be offering free pizzas at their new location for those that connect with their social accounts. Why is this fast casual chain on the rise to fame? The innovation behind this fast casual concept is very unique compared to others, offering an interactive assembly-line that gives customers the ability to create their own pizza for under the small price of $7.

Not only are these pizzas at the lower end of the fast casual cost scale, but the speed of service has gained much attention. With a record breaking 180-seconds from order placement to table delivery, Blaze has pleased their customers in more ways than one (yes, vegan and gluten-free friendly!) Read more here

Posted on September 10, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual Nation, Fast Casual.

Why Generation Z Is Ready To Be The Next Target Market

PHOTO CREDIT: THE DRUM.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: THE DRUM.COM

All of this time that we have been studying the effects of targeting our marketing skills to the Millennial generation, the world has not stood still. Generation Z has been growing up reaching adulthood and American consumerism throughout our quest to reach Millennials. So who's our next victim? In the mind of a marketer, we think 'fresh meat.' 

Digital and social media marketing are growing at alarming rates due to this new generation of consumers that never lived without a smartphone. Heck, they don't even know that phones used to be in black and white! Tending to this group of new consumers with fresh cash (or debit cards I should say... like they carry cash... sheesh) in their pockets, the most successful marketers reach them through the use of multi-channel social media marketing. Gen Z is ready for us, but are we ready for them? Read more here. 

Posted on September 8, 2014 and filed under Millennial Marketing, Mobile, Technology.

6 International QSRs Adopting Fast Casual

Fast casual restaurant demand is on the rise, and now trending globally. With the American on-the-go lifestyles we possess, fast casual dining seems to fit perfectly into our busy schedules. But what about across the globe? Fast casual dining exists across the world, giving international consumers the ability to experience the American fast paced culture. A few examples include:

PHOTO CREDIT: MZCADURHAM.ORG

PHOTO CREDIT: MZCADURHAM.ORG

MAX Burgers - Sweden

The Flying Pan - Middle East

The Crepe Cafe - Middle East

Chez Ashton - Canada

MOS Burger - Asia

Nando's - UK 

To read more about global fast casual dining click here.

Posted on September 5, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.

Restaurants Take On The Selfie To Engage Millennials

PHOTO CREDIT: HUFFINGTON POST

PHOTO CREDIT: HUFFINGTON POST

 

But first, let me take a #selfie.

 

The Chainsmokers hit the nail on the head when they released their hit single #selfie this year. The 'selfie' has become one of the hottest trends among millennials filling timelines, newsfeeds, and photo albums. Not only has your grandmother jumped on the selfie train, but restaurants have decided to keep up with this growing social trend.

How can restaurants use their selfies to their advantage you ask? Engaging their millennial consumers through social media platforms, Dunkin' Donuts and Taco Bell have been able to get a high following due to their recent customer selfie campaigns. Encouragement to share photos and locations of their food, Dunkin & Taco Bell has been able to connect with their social followers creating heavier traffic to all social outlets. Read more.  

 

Fast Casual Gaining Market Share By The Minute

Fast casual dining restaurants are growing at a rapid rate with no end in sight, and the market shares have the proof to show it. We all know that McDonald's has held the worldwide fast food restaurant sales trophy for quite some time now, but, fast casual icon Chipotle is not too far behind. 

According to research, sales for fast casual restaurants has grown by 11% and store count has grew by 8%. Even though Chipotle's revenue is at a low $3.2 billion (compared to McDonald's) a 20% yearly increase is gaining Chipotle, as well as all other fast-casuals, significant market share. Read more here.

PHOTO CREDIT: TRNDMONITOR.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: TRNDMONITOR.COM

Posted on September 1, 2014 and filed under Fast Casual.