U.S. fast-casual sales increase in 2008
According to a report released on Thursday by Chicago-based foodservice consulting and research firm Technomic, fast-casual restaurant sales increased in 2008 despite the struggling economy.
Sales for the Top 100 fast-casual restaurant chains grew 10.8 percent, to USD 16.7 billion (EUR 12.3 billion), in 2008. Unit growth also increased by 7.3 percent last year.
The report also shows that the trend of building environmentally friendly stores will continue due to its cost efficiencies and positive social message.
"The fast-casual segment is being pushed toward higher standards by the difficult economic environment," said Darren Tristano, Technomic executive VP. "They are forced to compete for diminishing diners' dollars while maintaining high quality fare. Leaders are innovating by introducing new value-priced menu items, retooling menus to boost sales during slower dayparts and developing new programs like catering and selling retail packaged goods to supplement the bottom line."
The "2009 Top 100 Fast-Casual Restaurant Report" was designed to provide restaurant operators and foodservice suppliers with extensive information and analysis of top performers by sales and units, current trends within the segment and identification of potential growth opportunities.
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