Recent research on consumers’ use of restaurants and retailers for social catering found three-year compound annual growth rates projected at 5 percent or better for several market segments. But fast-casual restaurants are poised to outperform all other players, with projected…

They don’t serve food in a sack from a drive-through window. They also don’t have waiters taking orders and delivering dishes tableside. “Fast-casual” restaurants fill a niche between fast-food and casual dining. Customers order at a counter, and an employee…

Fast-casual restaurants now account for 14 percent of all sales in the quick-service industry (which includes fast-food restaurants), nearly triple their market share from a decade ago, according to Technomic, a food research and consulting firm. A Technomic report published…

Fast-food eateries are in the throes of drive-through Darwinism as more upscale upstarts, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Co., grab market share from the likes of Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy’s. Chains that are fancier than fast-food…

Leading fast casual dining chains have seen growth in sales during the last three years, despite the recession and other economic issues in the United States. Total visits grew 17 percent as other dining sales fell, demonstrating the resilience and…

Among fast casual restaurants, Applebee’s generated the largest online impact between November 2010 and January 2011, according to the latest quarterly report on the segment from media measurement technology firm General Sentiment. Applebee’s realized online exposure that would translate to…