Less Time, More Money: How to Grow Fast Casual Eateries

(DGIwire) – When RestaurantDive.com recently forecast the hottest restaurant trends for 2019, one of the standouts was a surge in fast casual dining. Even though analysts predict flat growth for the overall restaurant space this year, they have also observed an uptick in the fast casual category. As the publication noted, fast casual is taking a growing share of the landscape because it offers enhanced quality at a valuable price point. Elevated cuisine, it added, is no longer relegated to the realm of fine dining.

Total fast casual sales growth in 2017 was nine percent for the top 250 restaurant chains, according to a Technomic report. And RestaurantDive.com reported that time-strapped diners appreciate the efficiency of fast casual restaurants, which offer counter service that gives patrons more control over their experience from start to finish. Casual dining formats have also caught fire, said the article, because the format relieves restaurant owners of the labor costs and staffing sizes traditionally associated with more formal restaurants.

“The advent of the fast casual format is a win-win in many respects for diners and chain restaurant owners alike,” says Mike Pruitt, CEO of Chanticleer Holdings, the owner, operator and franchisor of multiple nationally recognized restaurant brands. “Successfully managing a portfolio of fast casual restaurant chains requires skill and sensitivity to the needs and wants of customers on a local and national level.”

Chanticleer Holdings owns the Little Big Burger, American Burger Co., BGR Burgers Grilled Right and Just Fresh chains, several Hooters franchise locations and is part owner of Hooters’ parent company.

Part of how Chanticleer ensures that its restaurant chains operate as smoothly as possible is by mixing up the offerings at each chain—from simple burgers and truffle fries at Little Big Burger, with its own trademarked catsup and fry sauce, to the full-scale menus at American Burger and BGR Burgers Grilled Right—with a wide choice of health-conscious offerings available at Just Fresh in between. Chanticleer also has a deep understanding of how to take advantage of situations that can benefit each restaurant within the chains, such as recognizing local sports teams’ victories with specials, and featuring locally produced food and drink products in its stores. Chanticleer similarly benefits from its experience in driving down the production costs of particular menu items and bolstering its bottom line in the process.

None of this skill in managing a basket full of very different and profitable restaurant chains would be possible without an experienced management team. Chanticleer has attracted some of the best and brightest restaurant industry experts to its C-Suite, recently adding accomplished restaurant operator Fred Glick as its President, along with naming Patrick Harkleroad CFO, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the chain restaurant management arena.

“The future of the fast casual format appears bright—and will remain profitable for any restaurant owners and franchisors who is sensitive to the needs of the customers,” Pruitt adds.