Fast-casual seafood battles back from the brink

The seafood quick-service category has performed poorly in recent years, but budding fast-casual chains hope to capitalize on customers’ desire for healthier options and premium experiences to bring the category back to prominence.

Ivar’s Seafood Bar in Seattle, California Fish Grill in Los Angeles, Fish Express in Dallas, and Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Santa Ana, California, are a few of the up-and-coming fast-casual companies offering an alternative to quick-service stalwarts like Captain D’s and Long John Silver’s.

And experts say the time is right to bring a healthier product like seafood back to market.

“Chicken and seafood are two of the healthiest proteins and, with the Affordable Care Act, they are going to be very well-positioned products down the road,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at foodservice consulting firm Technomic Inc.

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