Fast Casual Restaurants - UK - August 2011
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For the purposes of this report, Mintel has defined fast casual dining as:Pharmacy-only products, which can only be sold in a premises when a pharmacist is present and under their supervisionGeneral Sales List, which can be sold in any premises.
Limited-service restaurant (LSR)
For the purposes of this report, LSRs include all counter-order foodservice establishments, including quick-service restaurants, pizza shops, coffee shops, snack shops, bakeries and fast casual restaurants. The common thread is that there is no table service in these venues, so diners tend to pay before receiving the food ordered.
Buffets and carveries largely work along similar lines, in that they are predominantly characterised by their self-service nature, with diners paying a flat fee and serving themselves from a selection of dishes presented in a communal area. However, both often incorporate an element of table service, if only in the form of drinks provision.
Table service is largely absent from cafeteria and canteen-style venues. Instead, diners tend to choose from a limited/fixed menu which is either pre-plated or served pre-cooked from heater display counters. A diner tends to pay at a checkout at the end of the counter row before food is consumed. They also collect their own food and cutlery. Communal dining tables are often prevalent in these venues.
These service formats are often found in educational, medical and workplace establishments.
A food court is defined as a centralised and shared seating area for a variety of food counters serving different meals, snacks and beverages. A single or multiple operators may manage a food court. In some cases a single operator acts as a franchisee for a variety of brands. A food court is generally characterised by the self-service style of operation and the speed of delivery.
By their nature, food courts tend to be located in areas of high footfall dealing with the requirements of large volumes of consumers. Typically common locations include: retail environments such as shopping centres and outlet malls; travel hubs such as airports and railway stations; leisure venues such as theme parks and zoos; and public/staff catering venues such as hospitals and colleges.
Fast food/Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)
Fast food venues are restaurants without table service and instead are based on a counter-service model whereby consumers order, pay for and collect their food at a bar/counter. Under this service format diners generally pay for their food before they receive it.
Fast casual dining (FCD)
This is a hybrid of fast foodservice and sit-down/casual outlets. It involves limited service/counter service, although it is generally regarded as more upscale than fast food venues with its use of cutlery and crockery etc as well as greater focus on ambience and décor.
Full-service/table-service outlets which are usually licensed venues. Dress code is casual and service relaxed and relatively informal. This term mainly refers to mid-market venues.
Full-service restaurants are, by definition, establishments that provide table service. Food is ordered at the table and is paid for at the end of the meal.
Restaurants that exceed £20 per main course, typically serve alcoholic beverages and seat patrons at their own tables. These venues aim to create a ‘serious’ dining experience, attempt to deliver impeccable service and typically hire chefs and staff from culinary schools.
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