2014 will mark the fifth consecutive year that the fast casual segment’s growth in traffic will surpass that of every other restaurant segment.
As this segment continues its meteoric rise, take a peek at these pint-sized factoids to help inform your fast casual growth strategy in 2014.
- Fast casual has been the fastest growing segment in the restaurant business since 2009 and will continue to be through 2017. Source
- The fast casual segment has expanded total units by almost 50% since 2007. Source
- Fast casual units grew 6% in 2013 to total approximately 16,215 units. Source
- Visits to fast casual restaurants increased 8% in 2013 compared to 2012. Source
- Consumer spending at fast casual restaurants jumped 10% in 2013 over 2012. Source
- The top 3 fast casual segments are: Bakery Cafés, Mexican restaurants and Sandwich concepts. Source
- Fast casual restaurants are anticipated to grow at an average of 10% through 2017. Source
- Fast casual restaurant operators believe the top 3 challenges they will face in 2014 are: building and maintaining sales volume, government regulations, and recruiting and retaining employees. Source
- 70% of fast casual operators say their customers are more interested in locally sourced items than they were two years ago. Source
- 59% of fast casual brands intend to increase their social advertising in 2014. Source
- The fast casual restaurants that are strong at breakfast and snack times have had more success than other concepts in 2013 and should have continued success in 2014. Source
- Four-fifths of consumers say they patronize fast casual restaurants at least once a month, with about 60% of those regular diners also buying breakfast monthly. Source
- At the end of 2013, 28% of Technomic’s top fast casual chains offered breakfast. Source
- Breakfast menu offerings are expanding at fast casual restaurants – the number of breakfast entrees rose 8.8% (to 260) from third-quarter 2012 to third-quarter 2013. Source