Everyone wants to be the next Chipotle. And if its new partnership is any indication, pizza will be fast casual's new main squeeze. Pizza concepts have already started seeing growth in the fast casual arena. With more expected in the near future, Chipotle is keeping its eye on the pie through backing a chain of upscale pizza restaurants, Pizzeria Locale. The existing pizza concept will be brought into a fast casual model under the same name, reports one source.
Steve Ells and his team have really nailed a near perfect model for fast casual: quick, transparent food with fresh ingredients and a strong message that most customers would say is worth the value. Considering the brand ranks No. 1 on the Restaurant Social Media Index's most recent Top 250 brands list, we'd say Chipotle is sitting pretty at the top with all that consumer sentiment. Read More
Make sure to check out our Fast Casual Trends TV interview below with Marla Topliff, President of Chicago-based Rosati's Pizza.