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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International Trends in Fast Casual

Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, typically discusses Fast Casual trends within the United States. However, the 3rd Annual Fast Casual Trends and Directions Conference offered us some unique opportunities, like meeting with industry leaders from all over the world. One such leader is Maurice Abboudi, a consultant and brand operator from the UK. Watch the full episode as Paul Barron gets the dish from Maurice on UK restaurant trends, the state of Fast Casual restaurants in the UK, and predictions on where the market is headed.

Blazing Onion — A Fast Casual Hybrid

In this episode of Fast Casual Trends TV, brought to you by the Foodable Network, we are speaking with Blazing Onion Burger Company CEO/Co-Founder David Jones. Blazing Onion is a fast casual hybrid with a cross between a full-service lounge with a fast casual restaurant that seats 100-200. Watch the full episode to learn how Blazing Onion is managing operations differently than other fast casuals and how the brand is enticing Millennials, both in-store and out of the restaurant.

Why You Should be Treating Your Restaurant Like a Data Company

Why You Should be Treating Your Restaurant Like a Data Company

We're now (well, yesterday for early adopters) at a point with mobile and tech in restaurants where operators need to stop just thinking about it, and actually begin implementation. In 2016, Millennials — a generation that lives on their phones — will become the largest customer base for fast casual. A tech panel joined Barron on stage to speak to these advancements — Geoff Alexander of Lettuce Entertain You’s Wow Bao, Brett Schulman of Cava Mezze and Cava Mezze Grill, and Chris Dancy, who has been dubbed as “The Most Connected Human on the Planet.” The three gave different perspectives of using mobile and tech in their restaurant spaces, or, in Chris Dancy’s case, how guests (will) use them.

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