Missed the Fast Casual Nation Documentary? Watch it Now on Amazon

FCN Doc Amazon Poster

This week, Foodable Network released its first documentary— Fast Casual Nation: Changing The Way America Eats, on Amazon.

The full-length documentary, narrated by the network’s CEO and Executive Producer, Paul Barron, begins by exploring the food landscape that led to the birth of fast-casual concepts across the country.

“You had casual dining, you had fast food and that pretty well defined food service. Sit-down experience: you tipped, the service, longer wait times. Restaurants doing great sales volumes and then QSR, fast food. Nothing in between,” said Firehouse Subs’ CEO, Don Fox.

Modern Market’s CEO, Anthony Pigliacampo believes fast casual could not have happened if it wasn’t for the fast food segment teaching consumers how to eat out multiple times a week over a span of 30 years.

“I think what’s really happening is consumers are finally saying: 'Wait a second, I really need to eat out all the time because of my lifestyle. I’m a busy modern person, I need to eat out'... And we think that’s how consumers view fast casual and it is the fuel that enables them to have this modern lifestyle,” explained Pigliacampo.

Millennials, of course, are a big driver of the fast casual sector and with this generation growing up in a world where technology, food customization, and social media have all collided, it created the perfect storm to drive this food sector to new heights.

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"This is a part of my life's work to explore the future of food. Fast casual is and will be a part of that future that is shifting in a big way today.  This documentary is the first step in a mission that is designed to help the restaurant business shift into what will be the next generation of food.  Fast casual is on the threshold of being a catalyst of how food and restaurant operations will flourish in the next 20 years,” said Barron, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry.

The film also touches on how some restaurants were able to survive the 2008 recession by getting creative with real estate, the changing attitudes of the consumer towards healthier options, and how traditional culinary professionals began moving into the fast casual space in order to make thoughtful food more approachable.

"It is clear that you cannot create a market, what happens is you can understand and see things in a different way. Understand how the consumers respond and then respond to it,” said Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread.

Fast Casual Nation: Changing The Way America Eats is not just a film for restaurant industry professionals. It’s a documentary where anyone from the business world, film world or even foodies can learn something from and enjoy!

Amazon Prime members can watch the film for free as long as they have an active account. Non-members can rent the high-definition movie for $2.99 or buy it for $9.99.

First Annual Foodable Film Festival Kicks Off This May in Chicago

First Annual Foodable Film Festival Kicks Off This May in Chicago

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably already familiarized yourself with Foodable.io, Foodable’s upcoming event for restaurant industry professionals taking place in Chicago on May 20th, the day before the NRA Show kicks off. This interactive event is unlike any other in restaurant trade, and comes in two parts: interactive panel sessions to start the day (what we’re calling Food Theory), and, in the evening, the first annual Foodable Film Festival. Both parts aim to bring individuals together not only to network, but also to become educated in an entertaining way about issues, trends, and movements affecting the foodservice industry of today and tomorrow. It’s this reason that Food Theory will be open only to approved restaurant industry professionals and select media, as space is limited, and with knowledge comes power — to make a change or, at the very least, get the ball rolling.

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NRA President & CEO Dawn Sweeney to Kick Off "Fast Casual Nation" Documentary Premiere in Chicago

For one night only, Foodable WebTV Network is pairing up with the National Restaurant Association and the new Virgin Hotels Chicago to unveil the film premiere of “Fast Casual Nation,” a documentary that takes a deeper look into the restaurant industry segment that’s changing the way America eats.

Introducing the screening, along with Paul Barron and other industry notables, will be Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

The invite-only premiere event, with nearly 175 attendees, will take place during the week of the NRA Show, and guests will enjoy a cocktail reception and step and repeat before the screening. Guests include fast casual VIPs from the film, including NRA Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer Phil Kafarakis, FCIC members, and founders & CEOs of restaurant brands throughout the world.

Fast Casual Nation: Changing the Way America Eats

There’s a reason McDonald’s is still wiping the grease off its hands, and there’s something to be said for Olive Garden’s downfall (breadsticks and all). In the land of restaurant operations, fast casual is king. It’s a segment that continues to make history. And while some say history shouldn’t be repeated, it certainly deserves to be documented.

“With the fast casual concept changing and influencing the landscape of the entire restaurant industry, there is no better time than now to hold a microscope and analyze the major players, trends and influences in the segment,” says Paul Barron, Founder, CEO and Executive Producer at Foodable.

With exclusive interviews from fast casual analysts, experts and leaders representing more than 20 innovative fast casual concepts around the country, “Fast Casual Nation” takes viewers inside the brilliant minds of the industry insiders who started it all. Who have taken fast casual to another level. And who have innovated and intensified the movement that’s influencing the way consumers dine.

A first of its kind, “Fast Casual Nation” unveils the secrets and vision of this $50 Billion restaurant industry segment. And unlike most behind-the-scenes documentaries that aim to unfold negative agendas, “Fast Casual Nation” shows the passion, community and sincerity of operators trying to make a difference not only in dining, but in modern-day consumer culture.

Fast casual has changed America. It has impacted farming, human health and the culinary arts. And it’s not going anywhere. So buckle up for this awe-inspiring ride of cinematic artistry and make history with us.

As Smashburger Founder Tom Ryan said, “People want two things: They want food with a story, and they want that story to make them feel good about what they’re eating.”

This is our story.

Fast Casual Nation — The Documentary Trailer is Released

Foodable has ventured to inform the industry and consumers with the first and only WebTV series about the fastest growing restaurant segment, Fast Casual Nation. But we are taking it one step further by revealing a more in-depth look into the segment by releasing Fast Casual Nation– The Documentary. In early 2015, it will be available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure!

Fast casual restaurants are changing and influencing the landscape of the entire restaurant industry and the Fast Casual Nation Documentary will analyze the current major players, trends, and influences of the segment. It will answer those hard hitting questions, while investigating what the future holds for the segment and the modern day restaurant consumers. Read More