QSR: Penn Station President Craig Dunaway on the State of the Fast-Casual Segment
QSR: Penn Station President Craig Dunaway on the State of the Fast-Casual Segment

The grilled-sandwich brand’s president discussed what some see as a decline in the segment and how Penn Station has been able to thrive despite the trend

Some industry analysts have pointed toward a downward curve in sales and profits within the fast-casual segment, but Penn Station has bucked that trend.

The grilled-sandwich brand’s president, Craig Dunaway, said that the industry’s decline has largely been overstated and reflects an evening out of an unusually long boon rather than a crash. Dunaway’s skepticism toward the doom-sayers may be the quality that has made Penn Station more successful than other fast-casual restaurants over the past year. Many of the other brands in the segment, Dunaway said, cheapened their products in an attempt to offset flagging sales, which likely only served to hasten their decline.

From the article:

Dunaway has some ideas for what fast casuals should and should not do to counter the sluggish economy. He’s vehemently against cheapening product. When you consider the issues at hand—competing for consumers with grocery chains, convenience stores, improved quick serves, casual dining and full service—the window to attract guests is narrowing, he says. If they choose Penn Station, Dunaway wants the impression to be lasting. It has to be. And if that means paying more for USDA choice steak and stocking a leaner pepperoni, it’s worth it.

Read the full article at qsrmagazine.com.

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