Matt Hood of The Habit Burger Grill — Breaking Down the Better Burger Boom

Better burger concepts in the fast-casual arena are booming and competition is becoming tighter. An American staple that was first captured in mass production by McDonald’s has been driven to a state of better quality in the fast casual sector, and the “better burger” boom continues to soar — and evolve. Shake Shack and The Habit Burger Grill are now both public companies, proving in a literal sense that burgers are money.

But as beef prices continue to rise and alternate proteins are added to more menus — a result of both cost-effectiveness and consumer palates more open to exploring beyond the traditional burger — what will become of this segment?

In this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, host Paul Barron sits down with Matt Hood, CMO at The Habit Burger Grill, to discuss the evolution of the burger: where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it’s going.

Fast Casual Trends TV: FCIC Chair & Wow Bao President Geoff Alexander [VIDEO]

We are kicking off a brand new season of Fast Casual Trends TV with a new look, inside the Foodable HQ studio! On this premier episode, brought to you by the Foodable Network and Technomic, we catch up with Geoff Alexander, Fast Casual Industry Council (FCIC) Chair and President of Chicago fast casual Wow Bao. Watch the full episode as Alexander discusses fast casual expansion, how this segment is bringing more approachability to chef-driven fare, why the future holds more value in this space for the consumer, and what to look forward to at this year’s Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference. (Bonus: If you’re a fast casual operator, learn more about how you can get involved with the FCIC.)

Important Takeaways from the Third Annual Fast Casual Trends and Directions Conference

Important Takeaways from the Third Annual Fast Casual Trends and Directions Conference

At the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago yesterday, leaders in the fast casual restaurant industry gathered together to inspire, educate and network at the 3rd Annual Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference (FCTD). In a room of about 50+ executives, experts took the stage to provide their insight on a wide variety of things — from menu innovations and growth plans to social media currency and technology. Needless to say, every round table in the room left with more motivation and knowledge to continue their stride in the fastest growing industry segment that Millennials are known to frequent. As a bonus, NFL Hall-of-Famer Marcus Allen wrapped up the event with a vulnerable speech on leadership, connecting the idea of teamwork, success and opportunity.

Hosted by the National Restaurant Association in partnership with Technomic & DigitalCoCo, FCTD provides several stats, tips and insights that are super niche to the fast casual arena, but can also act, in some ways, as a framework for any restaurant executive. FCTD is an intimate, invitation-only event for fast casual movers and shakers, so for those who were not able to attend, we’ve got you covered on some major takeaways below.

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The Main Dish

In the Age of Information Overload, refinement is key. That was the thought behind The Main Dish - a quick compilation of the most bookmark-worthy links from the Foodable WebTV Network. Aside from our usual daily content, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of 5-10 handpicked pieces every Sunday from our editor of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

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FCTD: The Third Annual Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference Will Kick Off May 16 in Chicago

Fast Casual Growth & Performance with Technomic's Darren Tristano

Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic, joins us in this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network. Watch the full episode as Darren delves into growth percentages of the fast casual segment; how fast casual is performing in relation to other sub-segments, like casual dining and QSRs; and an additional segment — polished casual — that’s made an appearance in the landscape. Darren also talks about the upcoming Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference in Chicago, and explains how advantageous the event is for C-level fast casual restaurant executives.