The “fast-casual” restaurant is a relatively new concept, positioned somewhere between fast food restaurants and casual dining restaurants. Technically, being a hybrid of the two, a fast-casual restaurant provides counter service and offers a broader variety of customized, freshly prepared, high quality food, all in an upscale, inviting environment.
LaPaella is one step beyond fast casual…we call it Fresh Casual, because the power of our Fresh Spanish Experience is built around made to-order Paella, Bocata’s and Tapas. This is Spanish Food with romance.
Additionally, fast casual generally include limited table service, with typical meal costs ranging from $8 to $15. Overall, the fast-casual dining segment had a successful year in 2015, with cumulative sales for the top 250 concepts (as reported by Technomics) up 11.6% year-over-year. Although lower than the 13.5% growth rate observed in 2014, the double-digit growth is still impressive. Unit growth also reached 9.6%, which was slightly above the 2014 rate of 9.5%. Of the 250 chains featured in their report, over 90 had year-over-year sales and unit growth rates in the double digits.
"Whether they offer the customization of a build-your-own format or just their made-to-order signature dishes, fast-casual chains clearly hit the sweet spot with consumers," according to Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomics. "The winning formula of high-quality menu items in upscale settings, with high-touch service at prices between fast food and casual dining, can be applied to any kind of food, and is powering growth in segments from burgers and barbecue to sushi and pizza. We'll continue to see fast-casual drive much of the sales growth in the restaurant industry for years to come."