CHICAGO (June 24, 2010 - Business Wire)—Though the recession took a toll on most restaurant sectors in 2009, fast-casual chains benefited from consumers trading down from full-service restaurants to lower-priced but still higher quality fresh food. A new study by foodservice industry consultant Technomic finds that 2009 sales for the Top 100 fast-casual chains reached $17.5 billion, a 4.5 percent increase over 2008, and units grew by 4.3 percent to 14,777 locations.
Fast-casual restaurants are part of the limited-service segment, and provide fast service and fresh, high quality food in upscale settings. Technomic’s 2010 Top 100 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report provides rankings, analysis and profiles of the leading chains, and helps chain operators and foodservice suppliers understand emerging trends and players in today’s fastest growing segment.
Select findings include:
“Growth within the fast-casual segment reveals positive consumer preferences for the service format, concept and menu positioning, and price points,” says Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic. “But competition is still fierce and dining-out dollars are still minimal. Fast-casual operators will have to continue being creative with value-oriented menu offerings, uniqueness in terms of flavor, preparation and quality, and new ways to bolster the bottom line.”
The 2010 Top 100 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report was designed to provide restaurant operators and foodservice suppliers with extensive information and analysis of top performers by sales and units; current trends within the segment; and identification of fast-casual growth opportunities. It includes comprehensive appendices listing the Top 100 chains alphabetically and by rank in sales and units, plus detailed profiles containing concept and menu positioning and contacts.