The Outlook for the Top 25 Fast-Casual Concepts in the U.S.

By Mark Kalinowski Published on April 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Of the large sectors of the U.S. restaurant industry (quick-service, fast-casual, midscale/family dining, casual dining, and fine dining), the fastest-growing one yearin and year-out continues to be the fast-casual sector. In 2018, the fast-casual segment’s sales rose by +7.6% to $55.4 billion, now representing about 10% of the U.S. restaurant industry’s $556.4 billion in total sales. For 2019, Technomic projects that the fast-casual sector will expand by +7.3%, greater than its forecasted growth rate of +3.9% for the restaurant industry as a whole. In our view, fast-casual’s growth will continue to outpace that of the industry for years to come, due to the quality of the food offerings, the speed of service, and the relative discount that guests enjoy relative to much of full-service dining. That said, as the data in this report shows, the rising fast-casual tide is NOT lifting all boats, and we do not expect that to be the case going forward. Individual concepts and their various attributes (including the management of those concepts) continues to matter greatly. We note the following:

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Tidbits re WEN, Luckin Coffee, and Generation Z’s Favorite Restaurants

By Mark Kalinowski Published on March 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We briefly note the following tidbits regarding Wendy’s (WEN; Neutral), privately-held Luckin Coffee, and Generation Z’s favorite restaurant concepts:

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