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.

Paul Damico of Focus Brands — Predicting the Future of Fast Casual

In this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, Host Paul Barron sits down with Paul Damico, EVP & Group President at Focus Brand Restaurants. Damico explains why Fresh Mex — and ethnic, in general — has mass appeal when it comes to the fast-casual format, what effects the rise of QSR+ may have on this segment, and what upcoming trends we should expect to see in the space.

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!

Protein Bar CEO — Finding the Right Investors for Your Fast Casual

In this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, host Paul Barron is joined by Matt Matros, the founder of Protein Bar, a Chicago-based, good-for-you fast casual.

Watch the full episode to learn why being overweight ultimately led Matros to create Protein Bar, how to find great investors for your fast casual restaurant, and how Protein Bar is changing up the game when it comes to customer relationships.

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?