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Sam Oches

Experience-Driven Fast Casual Takes a Cue from Full Service

Aside from service format, one big difference between traditional fast casuals and full-service concepts has always been the amount of time guests spend in the restaurant. Whereas full-service restaurants necessitate a significant period spent in the dining room, fast casuals are generally more concerned about throughput—getting customers in and out.

Chicago's Classic Diner with a Food-Hall Twist

Food halls are taking the nation’s cities by storm, providing locals with a central location for dozens of innovative concepts. And chefs and other full-service professionals are taking advantage of the trend, leveraging food-hall space to kick the tires of the quick-service segment and try out either limited versions of their full-service menus or big ideas they’ve developed over the years.

This is the Future of Restaurant Portfolios

High-caliber chefs are known to build sizable empires with multiple fine-dining concepts, and they are increasingly adding fast casuals to the mix. Chef-entrepreneurs like Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, and Sam Fox, who have opened multiple full-service concepts all over the country, are now exploring hybrid opportunities with ’Wichcraft, Beefsteak, and Flower Child, respectively.

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Kailley Lindman

When the Fast Casual Model Doesn't Work

Fast-casual and hybrid restaurants have become undeniably attractive to chefs who are looking to expand their portfolios or establish a business venture with legs to grow. But the leap into a counter-service format isn’t so simple as nixing a waitstaff.

The Hybrid Model of Success

The lines between restaurant categories used to be distinct; customers could choose among quick-service, casual-dining, and fine-dining restaurants with clear expectations for what each experience might hold.

Equipment Extravaganza

Wednesday, February 18 6–8 p.m. | Kick-Off Party Thursday, February 19 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Show Floor Open Friday, February 20 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Show Floor Open Saturday, February 21 9 a.m. to 3 p.

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Courtesy of the Chimneys Reaturant, Gulfport, Mississippi.

Resurrecting the Gulf

Say “Gulf Coast” these days, and two things likely come to folks’ minds: hurricanes and the BP oil spill. But many in the Gulf are hoping Americans, particularly restaurant operators and chefs, will soon think about something else: seafood.