Although the fast casual industry is only about 25 years old, it has emerged as the restaurant sector’s leader with quick-service brands striving to match its higher food quality and casual restaurants racing to embrace similar technologies in hopes of competing on speed of service.
A lot of fast casual brands are popping up as well, with the industry experiencing a year-over-year growth of 11.39% in 2022 at a CAGR of 12.41%, according to a Technavio report.
Only time will tell, however, which of these newcomers has staying power, but the Fast Casual editorial board has made a few predictions with its latest report, “20 Brands to Watch in 2023.”
To qualify each brand had to be no more than six years old, have at least one location open and have never appeared on this list in the past or on the annual list of Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers. The brands also went through a nomination process, which required they share a variety of information from AUVs and growth plans to technology, labor, operations and menu strategies.
A panel of judges used the information to round out the list and we are honored to introduce the 2023 class of “20 Brands to Watch.” We predict they will continue to help the fast casual industry thrive. We are also betting at least a few end up on future editions of the Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers.