Menu Innovation is Expected from Chipotle as Former Taco Bell CEO Takes Over

Menu Innovation is Expected from Chipotle as Former Taco Bell CEO Takes Over

It looks like nachos, quesadillas, salads and new grain options may possibly be new Chipotle menu items, according to Founder and Executive Chairman Steve Ells.

“These are things customers are asking for,” said Ells on the company’s latest earnings call, as reported by Bloomberg.

Just last week, the company began to test a new non-dessert offering, spokesman Chris Arnold told Bloomberg via email. This happened a few days after news broke Brian Niccol, the former chief executive officer of Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell Division, is set to lead Chipotle starting March 5.

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Sandwich Shakeup: Leading Ladies in this Emerging Sector Tell Us How their Concepts Stand Out From the Rest

Sandwich Shakeup: Leading Ladies in this Emerging Sector Tell Us How their Concepts Stand Out From the Rest

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large 

The fast casual sandwich sector has come a long way from restaurants serving the same old turkey club and roast beef sandwich.

Creative concepts have emerged and are offering diners a unique twist on many sandwich favorites, while also serving menu items guests have never seen before. 

Although Jersey Mikes and the quick-serve Arby’s are chains on the rise, many other sandwich chains are having difficulty competing with these emerging concepts. 

Former sandwich kings, like Subway have been forced to close hundreds of stores this year. The pressure from the fast casual segment, especially with the new array of innovative options for customers to choose from, has had a negative impact on major chains. 

These elevated sandwich concepts are disrupting the segment as they continue to gain traction in the market. 

Two restaurants uppin’ the ante in this sector are Matt & Marie’s and Mendocino Farms. Both of these concepts have leading ladies as co-founders and we decided to sit down with each off them to see how their concepts are standing out from the rest. 

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Fast Casual Restaurant Documentary to Premiere at the NRA Show in Chicago May 16th

Fast Casual has become quite the buzz word in the press nowadays. With the recent IPO events of the Habit Burger Grill and Danny Meyers’ Shake Shack, this segment is getting some major coverage. And although it seems that no one can stop talking about these brands -- the press, restaurant operators, Wall Street, and consumers -- there has yet to be an attempt to take an in-depth, up close and personal look at the segment that is “changing the way America eats.” Until now.

Through the Fast Casual Nation WebTV series, Foodable Network has visited the Fast Casual concepts across the country that are at the forefront of this food revolution. But soon to be revealed for the first time on screen, streaming to your iPhone, tablet, laptop, and smart TV on Netflix, and also being screened at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago on May 16th, is the first documentary on this $50 billion restaurant segment.

Fast Casual Conquers Quick-Serve

Paul Barron will be examining the segment with unparalleled growth in the restaurant industry, by showcasing interviews of the restaurant pioneers, executives, industry experts, chefs and innovators who are responsible for catapulting the success of Fast Casual. The individuals who took on the fast food moguls, like McDonald’s and Burger King, and won.

This is a true David vs. Goliath story that needs to be told. How did this all start? What are the secrets and vision behind Fast Casual? And what does the future hold? You will be inspired by the people who are spearheading these concepts. And you will learn more about this food revolution that has changed the industry forever.  

The Food Renaissance

Fast Casual has affected every other restaurant segment. Consumers can have it all- speed, convenience, quality fare, and just the right amount of service with these restaurants. This has single-handedly changed the consumer expectations and casual dining and quick-serve in particular are having difficulty competing. Thus, quick-serve chains, such as Pizza Hut, and casual dining chains, like Cracker Barrel, are developing or investing in Fast Casual concepts.

"This is the renaissance of food that we will look back upon and simply say - that was when everything changed. It will set a course for the future in food that will right over four decades of wrong,” said Paul Barron, Foodable WebTV Network Founder and CEO.  “The future of farming, human health, and cultivation of culinary arts are at stake and Fast Casual may well be the savior of our industry.”

In the Fast Casual Documentary, this story will unfold in cinematic fashion that has never been seen in food media and we can’t wait for you to be a part of it.

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City Greens Brings the Farm to Fast Casual

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In this episode of Fast Casual Nation, brought to you by the Foodable Network, we bring you to City Greens. Host Paul Barron sits down and talks with Abhi Bhansali, Co-founder of the health-conscious fast casual concept, about what influenced the development of the restaurant. The brand takes local sourcing to a whole new level with their own hydroponic farm, which allows them to truly control where the menu's ingredients come from. Watch the full episode to see some of the flavorful, yet good for you farm fresh menu offerings and their emerging City Juice product.