Moe’s Southwest Grill Launches Foodscapes with Augmented Reality Aspect

Moe’s Southwest Grill Launches Foodscapes with Augmented Reality Aspect

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The “fresh mex” fast casual Moe’s Southwest Grill is giving their customers a new way to interact with their food. The brand has unveiled new restaurant artwork featuring foodscapes of Moe’s ingredients by the artist Carl Warner.

You may have seen these images before. The landscapes made up of Moe’s food have been featured in commercials within the last two years, but the pieces of art will be displayed in more than 650 store locations by the end of the year.

The name Moe stands for Musicians, Outlaws and Entertainers and the restaurant is paying homage to that with a new augmented reality (AR) aspect called “Foodstock.”

This salute to Woodstock, the legendary music festival will be incorporated into the art pieces. Through the Moe’s new Rockin’ Rewards loyalty app, guests will be able to interact with the art and bring the food to life through their smart phones.

AR technology adds computer-generated images and sounds to enhance our real world surroundings.

For example, guests will be able to use the AR feature to see bees buzz and play the onion drums to make melodies with Moe's 17 quintillion high-quality food combinations.

Read More

Watch out Chipotle, the Competition in the Fresh Mex Segment is Heatin’ up

Watch out Chipotle, the Competition in the Fresh Mex Segment is Heatin’ up

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large 

There are been several recent developments in the “fresh mex” sector of fact casual– including Chipotle’s food safety crisis, Rubio’s expansion to the east coast and Moe’s Southwest Grill being named the Mexican fast casual “brand of the year” in the Harris Poll.

Before November of last year, Chipotle was always leading the pack. Fast forward to today, the brand that boasts “food with integrity” is still struggling to return to where it was before the food safety media frenzy caused sales to slump.

With that in mind, other “fresh mex” restaurants now have a competitive advantage and are gaining momentum in the market.

Through Foodable Labs and data pulled from the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI,) a proprietary system of our sister company DigitalCoCo– we track over 151 million US social restaurant consumers across 17 social platforms. With over 21k restaurant brands indexed, Foodable has its pulse on what consumers really think about these brands.  

To see what “fresh mex” restaurants consumers are gravitating to we focused primarily on the Sentiment category. The multi-variant sentiment is based on a variety of terms and locations relative to food, service, and overall Brand Experience, providing a much more accurate consumer sentiment score than any other system in the market. The score is based on a hundred-point scale. To put it simply, we have determined which “fresh mex” brands consumers loved the most in the second quarter of 2016.

Read More

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.

Rubio’s Makes Waves in the Fast Casual Segment

Rubio’s Makes Waves in the Fast Casual Segment

By Kerri Adams, Managing Editor 

The fast casual segment is the fastest growing segment in the restaurant industry. Within this crowded marketplace, Rubio’s, a restaurant that brought  Fish Tacos to the masses, has become quite the success.

To survive and advance in the constantly changing fast casual landscape, a restaurant has to be able to evolve to keep up with the expectations of the consumers. Rubio’s started as a quick-serve restaurant in 1983, but morphed into a fast casual brand. Today there are roughly 190 Rubio’s restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Rubio’s helped define the fast casual segment, before there was even the term “fast casual.”  

Read More