Hunting for a fast-casual concept? Here are the 10 best

Published in FSD C&U Spotlight

Shopping for a restaurant concept to complement your current portfolio of proprietary and retail operations? Here’s a dream list of potential partners or brands to emulate. Technomic, the research sister of FoodService Director, partnered with and Restaurant Business magazine to rank limited-service chains by a combination of financial success and consumer popularity.  Here’s an introduction to the Top 10.

1. Panera Bread

panera you pick 2

Executives coined “Panera 2.0” as a label for the chain’s suite of cutting-edge tech initiatives, but the term could just as readily signify the reinvented bakery-cafe chain in its entirety—if the tag weren’t as stale as yesterday’s muffins. Something like "Panera 2.8" might be a more accurate way of capturing the changes that range from stripping recipes of additives to trying such unusual ingredients for a big chain as kale. The setup took four years; now, says CEO Ron Shaich, it’s payoff time. He cites the examples of Charlotte, N.C., stores that were collecting $33,000 in weekly sales pre-Panera 2.0 and about $45,000 afterward.


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