Fast Casual Restaurants - US - February 2016
"The fast casual market is still evolving as existing brands expand their offerings and new brands emerge to fill the gaps in the market. Fast casual restaurants continue to shape the entire foodservice industry by offering highly customizable items made with premium ingredients and a new wave of fast casuals are emerging that threaten full service restaurants even further."
- Caleb Bryant, Foodservice Analyst
This report discusses the following key topics:
- Fast casuals can do more to attract parents
- Fast casuals must compete with retail food
- QSRs alter menus to appeal to fast casual diners
The purpose of this report is to analyze consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions surrounding fast casual restaurants. It will also explain what types of fast casual restaurants are trending as well as profile some of the major players in the market.
For the purposes of this report Mintel has used the following restaurant definitions:
- Limited service restaurants (LSRs) – These establishments provide food services where customers usually select and order items and pay before dining. Food/drink may be consumed on the premises, offered as carryout, or delivered to the customer’s location. They may also sell alcoholic beverages. LSRs include both QSRs and fast casual restaurants.
- Quick service restaurants (QSRs) – Used interchangeably with “fast food,” QSRs specialize in inexpensive, convenient meals. There is no waiter service, no alcoholic beverages, and low price point. Examples include: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut.
- Fast casual restaurants – These establishments are characterized by a higher price point than QSRs though not as high as full service restaurants. Fast casuals do not offer waiter service and may or may not serve alcohol. Examples include: Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, and Blaze Pizza.
- Full service restaurants (FSRs) – These establishments have waiter/waitress service in which customers order and are served while seated. They may also sell alcoholic beverages and offer carryout services. These include the restaurant segments: midscale, casual dining, and fine dining.
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