Fast-Casual: Segment Continues to Outpace the Industry

Chicago / IL. (tni) Technomic´s «Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report» reveals that the fast-casual segment continues to steal share from full-service chains and drive limited-service growth, making up 15 percent of the 231 billion USD limited-service restaurant segment. Fast-casual sales increased eleven percent in 2013, while all limited-service chains grew by only 3,5 percent.

«It is no secret that today´s consumer wants quality offerings made quickly», said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic. «Fast casual has made an impact on the full- and limited-service restaurant landscape. Before, a consumer might have traded a quality and fresh meal for something quick and economical. Fast casual continues to find new ways to offer both, and it is become a 34,5 billion USD segment».

Bakery cafes continued to lead all menu categories among the Top 150 fast-casual chains, with U.S. system-wide sales of 6,7 billion USD, up more than nine percent over 2012. The Mexican and Sandwich categories were second and third largest, with U.S. system-wide sales of 6,4 and 4,9 billion USD, respectively.

The Specialty menu category saw the fastest sales growth, up 16 percent followed by Chicken which was up 12 percent. The Sandwich and Specialty clusters experienced the highest unit growth, growing outlets by 13 percent and eleven percent, respectively. Top fast-casual clusters and their leaders include:

  • Bakery cafe led by Panera Bread with estimated sales of 4,1 billion USD.
  • Mexican led by Chipotle Mexican Grill with estimated sales of 3,2 billion USD.
  • Sandwich led by Jimmy John´s Gourmet Sandwich Shop with sales of 1,5 billion USD.
  • Chicken led by Zaxby´s with sales of 1,1 billion USD.
  • Asian/Noodle led by Panda Express with sales of 2 billion USD.
  • Burger led by Five Guys Burgers and Fries with sales of 1,1 billion USD.
  • Pizza led by Donatos Pizza with estimated sales of 174 million USD.
  • Specialty led by Dickey´s Barbecue Pit with estimated sales of 331 million USD.

The Technomic «Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report» provides Technomic´s exclusive rankings, analysis and profiles of the leading fast-casual chain restaurants, helping readers understand emerging trends and players in one of today´s fastest growing segments.