Carin Stutz of McAlister’s Deli — How a Sandwich Chain Stays Competitive After 26 Years

In this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, host Paul Barron is joined by McAlister's Deli President Carin Stutz at the Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference. With the sandwich segment being a powerful emerging leader in the fast-casual space, how does a 26-year-old brand stay competitive in an ever-evolving market? What ingredient trends does McAlister's Deli follow? And how do they engage with both new and loyal consumers to stay top of mind? Watch the full episode to find out all of the above, and more!

Technomic’s Darren Tristano — Fast Casual Evolution, IPOs & QSR+

On this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, we speak with Technomic’s Darren Tristano at the Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference in Chicago. Watch the full episode as Tristano and host Paul Barron dive into QSR+, a new subsegment of the restaurant industry, and how this new financial wave of IPOs — like Shake Shack’s — will affect the fast casual space.

What characteristics shape the definition of QSR+? How did this subcategory come into fruition? And what makes a brand sexy to investors?

Data Predicts the Future of Fast Casual

Data Predicts the Future of Fast Casual

A lot of fast casual insights were revealed at this year’s annual Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference, hosted by Technomic with Foodable sister company DigitalCoCo as media sponsor. What’s the current state of fast casual and where is it going?

Fast Casual in the Social Media ’sphere

For the first time ever, fast casual brands are seeing a decline in consumer engagement on social media — at least with the Millennial demographic, those who fall between the ages of 25-34. To be more specific, consumer social engagement with the Top 25 fast casual brands went down 9%. Data from the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) also shows that, despite this decline, overall consumer sentiment has gone up 39.2% and sales continue to grow. In fact, social consumer location transactions have increased by almost 50% in the past 24 months. 

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3 Restaurant Tech Takeaways From the Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference

3 Restaurant Tech Takeaways From the Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference

Yesterday marked the 4th annual Fast Casual Trends & Directions conference. Held in the Ritz-Carlton Chicago by Technomic, in media partnership with DigitalCoCo, the event showcased a handful of panels and speakers with great insight into the restaurant segment that’s changing the game: fast casual.

Foodable Founder & CEO Paul Barron hosted a panel about tech in fast casual restaurants. Panel members included Anthony Pigliacampo, Founder & CEO at ModMarket, Anand Dass, Business Development at Postmates and Michael Hagen, COO at LevelUp.

No matter how you slice it, tech is a huge push for Millennial adoption in fast casual. Here are three takeaways from the panel.

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