As fast casual restaurants become more popular, the segment is leading in design innovation.
Chefs and diners nationwide are shifting their focus from fine dining to fast casual menus. According to a recent Fast Casual article, fast casual has grown in prevalence and the segment is setting the standard for design--ahead of fine-dining, polished casual, and QSR.
Consumers are flocking to fast casuals for dining occasions and with this growing popularity, fast casuals must give more attention to the dining experience. As a result, design innovation is now the center of their attention.
Restaurant features such as reclaimed wood, chalkboards, and subway tile are a few trends that showing up in fast casual restaurants more frequently. After the early adopters and early majority take note, these trends start to trickle down to other segments like QSR.
Without competition in the past, QSR had no need to think about new design. As fast casuals continue to focus on design with money and brain power, QSRs must also shift their attention that way.
Now the fast casual segment has the option of pulling customers from either fine-dining restaurants or drawing customers from the QSR segment by focusing on drive-thrus and to-go meals with new designs. Eventually, the defined lines between segments will start to blend as design innovation continues.
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