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Consumers Looking for Restaurants That Are Clean, Green and Superfast

Friday October 20, 2017

According to Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine, revenue increases of over 10% are expected for fast-casual restaurants in 2017. As consumers look for higher quality food and greater convenience, fast-casual restaurants are finding themselves well positioned. Today’s consumers want it fast, but they aren’t willing to lower their quality standards.

That leads many consumers to choosing fast-casual restaurants. Leaders in the fast-casual category include Chipotle, Panera and Jimmy John’s. The slightly higher premium that is paid for healthier food has not scared off consumers, in fact, it has become a sort of proof to consumers that the food they are buying is of good quality. Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer said “Customers are demanding new food culture in a bid to be healthier and live a better lifestyle” in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine. Euromonitor International named “Greener Food” as one of its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016, indicating a strong focus on healthy food options, and pointing to Chipotle as “part of a new segment of ‘fast-casual’ restaurants.” Panera boasts that “100% of our food is 100% clean” and now offers on-line and in-store kiosk ordering to eliminate or reduce wait times.

So what does this mean for restaurants that do not fall under the fast-casual label? What can be learned from the recent success of the fast-casual restaurants?  1. Speed Matters: Make sure your restaurant’s systems and processes are geared for efficiency and that your staff works with a sense of urgency. 2. Keep it Real: Millennials in particular are looking for “clean food.”  Think about higher quality, healthier foods and greener processes. While there was some backlash, the farm-to-table trend is still gaining popularity. Euromonitor International claims “a key aspect of green food is eating locally-grown food.” Knowing that one’s local community is being supported by restaurants in the area is especially important to millennials. Many companies already buy locally, so placing a focus on that would be a good marketing idea.

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