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National Restaurant Association - New NRA research report details fast casual trends

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New NRA research report details fast casual trends

In some ways, fast casual restaurant operations are similar to their quickservice siblings, but in other ways, they’re very different.

According to National Restaurant Association research, fast casual operators report better sales and profitability in 2012 than quickservice operators, and have a brighter outlook on business conditions this year. Forty-four percent of fast casual operators say their profitability in 2012 was improved over 2011, and 42 percent expect this year to be even better. In contrast, 35 percent of quickservice operators said profitability was up last year, and only 26 percent expect better results in 2013.

Why is that? Clues can be found in the NRA’s newly released Limited-Service Restaurant Trends report, which does a deep-dive into trends affecting quickservice and fast casual restaurants, as well as the underlying consumer attitudes and expectations that play into both.

Knowing and understanding the economic climate and how consumers interact – or want to interact – with restaurants is crucial to strategic business planning for any operator, and especially to the fast casual community as a relatively new player in the maturing restaurant marketplace.

The NRA’s new report provides details on how consumers choose restaurants, how they use the Internet and social media in the restaurant space, and their attitudes toward front-of-the-house technology. It also breaks out how fast casual and quickservice operator differ when it comes to food trucks, guest interest in locally sourced food, marketing plans, top challenges, and more.

NRA members receive a 50 percent discount on this, and other, research reports as part of their member benefits. Visit the NRA’s website for additional information.

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