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Fast casual restaurant

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Fast casual restaurant

A fast casual restaurant is a type of restaurant in the United States that does not offer full table service, but promises a higher quality of food with fewer frozen or processed ingredients than a fast food restaurant.[1] It is a concept used in the United States, positioned between fast-food and casual dining. The typical cost per meal is USD $8-15.[2] The category is exemplified by chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Culvers, Zaxby's, Noodles & Co., Panera Bread,[1] and Shake Shack.

History

The concept did not become popular in the United States until the early to mid-1990s, and did not become mainstream until the end of the 2000s and the beginning of the 2010s.[3]

During the economic downturn beginning in 2007, fast casual dining saw increased sales to the 18–34 demographic.[4] Customers with limited discretionary spending on meals tend to use it on dining perceived as healthier.[4]

Logistics

Publisher and founder of FastCasual.com Paul Barron is credited for coining the term "fast-casual" in the late 1990s.[5] Horatio Lonsdale-Hands, former Chairman and CEO of ZuZu Inc., is also credited with coining the term "fast-casual". ZuZu, a handmade Mexican food concept co-founded by Lonsdale-Hands in 1989, filed a U.S. Federal trademark registration for the term "fast-casual" in November 1995.[6] In the July 1996 edition of Restaurant Hospitality, editor/associate publisher Michael DeLuca calls Lonsdale-Hands a "progressive pioneer in the burgeoning ‘fast-casual’ market segment."[7]

The company Technomic Information Services defined the term "fast-casual restaurants" as meeting the following criteria:[8]

  • Limited-service or self-service format
  • Average meal price between $8 and $15
  • Made-to-order food with more complex flavors than fast food restaurants
  • Upscale, unique or highly developed décor
  • Most often will not have a drive thru

See also

References

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  4. ^ a b
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