Cava is Following Into Panera's Footsteps In Regards To Loyalty Programs

Cava is Following Into Panera's Footsteps In Regards To Loyalty Programs

Cava Mezze Grill is planning to use data to form a more intimate dialogue with its customers and build a personalized brand loyalty program, according to “Fast Company.”

The Washington D.C.-based fast casual brand is known for using data to enhance their restaurant design and improving kitchen operations and reducing food-ordering lines, for example. So, it’s no surprise the Mediterranean-style food brand now wants to take it up a notch to better learn about their guests in order to cater to their specific wants and needs.

Cava Grill will be doing this by tracking patrons orders and offering promotional coupons for menu items each guest favorites.

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Fast Casual Concepts Begin in the Beltway But Expand Elsewhere

Fast Casual Concepts Begin in the Beltway But Expand Elsewhere

By Ross Perkins, Foodable Contributor

The days of fast casual only being Chipotle are long gone. Take your pick of a cuisine and chances are some company somewhere is already on it. Pan-Asian? There’s ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. Salads and healthy vegetarian-friendly fare? sweetgreen has that one covered. Greek and Mediterranean? Cava Grill will handle that one. All of these brands take their cues from Chipotle Mexican Grill – customers order at the counter and as they move from station to station to build their meals until they check out. And another thing: All these fast casual concepts got their start in Washington, DC.

The nation’s capital is a prime place to test out new fast casual concepts because the demographics could not be more ideal. The city has been and continues to be one of the largest destinations for the coveted millennial demographic, and there are many downtown office workers who need lunches made quickly. The city has an affluent population, so spending $10 or more for lunch is not a big deal. And Washington, DC is home to not only many international organizations but also a large international population who are familiar with different food cultures. So bringing something new to the dining scene is often embraced.

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5 Restaurants We'd Add to CNBC's '10 Restaurants to Watch' List

5 Restaurants We'd Add to CNBC's '10 Restaurants to Watch' List

Yesterday, CNBC reported on 10 up-and-coming restaurants to watch. The roundup wasn’t hand-selected, but based on predictive social analytics. In the list are concepts that could very well be the next Chipotle or Starbucks; the next Sweetgreen or Smashburger. Some of our personal favorites landed on the list — Tender Greens (#8), Bruxie (#7), and Hopdoddy Burger Bar (#2). Also making the list are Burger Lounge, Nick’s Restaurants, PieOlogy, PizzaRev, Mendocino Farms, Project Pie, and even CineBistro, the movie theater-slash-restaurant hybrid.

While we don’t necessarily disagree with the original list, we’d like to add five up-and-comers CNBC missed that are game changers in their own right, based on our proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index. The RSMI tracks three primary areas: influence, sentiment, and engagement, and is cross-referenced to a weighted scale and an advanced Social Insights algorithm that provides a level playing field for all brands participating, big or small.

In no specific order:

1. Greenleaf 

Ranking in the Top 30 of our Overall Top 250 Brands for Q1, Greenleaf is proving it’s a force to be reckoned with — especially with Gen Y. The chef-driven, L.A.-based “gourmet chopshop” features specialty, seasonal and local ingredients on the menu, and uses gourmet cooking techniques to up the ante while still remaining affordable. Greenleaf offers breakfast, lunch and dinner (with Build-Your-Own options), as well as happy hour. And don’t forget the juice bar!

Various locations throughout Southern California
http://www.greenleafchopshop.com/

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Why You Should be Treating Your Restaurant Like a Data Company

Why You Should be Treating Your Restaurant Like a Data Company

We're now (well, yesterday for early adopters) at a point with mobile and tech in restaurants where operators need to stop just thinking about it, and actually begin implementation. In 2016, Millennials — a generation that lives on their phones — will become the largest customer base for fast casual. A tech panel joined Barron on stage to speak to these advancements — Geoff Alexander of Lettuce Entertain You’s Wow Bao, Brett Schulman of Cava Mezze and Cava Mezze Grill, and Chris Dancy, who has been dubbed as “The Most Connected Human on the Planet.” The three gave different perspectives of using mobile and tech in their restaurant spaces, or, in Chris Dancy’s case, how guests (will) use them.

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D.C.: An Infestation of Fast Casuals

FCN-Sweetgreen_06.jpg

Fast Casuals. It's a segment in the industry we talk about quite frequently – so much so that one of our first WebTV shows, Fast Casual Nation (check out our most recent episode here), explores new and exciting concepts around the country.

Part of D.C.'s emerging new food scene comes from the nation's capital being a prominent player in the fast casual game. Of course, the segment has been invading cities everywhere, but the D.C. area has been the start of well-known fast casuals like Sweetgreen, Chop't, Cava Mezze Grill, and Chipotle's Shophouse. Read More