Fast casuals dominate Forbes' list of up-and-coming chains

June 11, 2012

Forbes' recently published a list of "10 great restaurants you haven't heard of – yet," which included mostly fast casual brands.

The list includes:

  1. UFood Grill. With headquarters in Newton, Mass., this 10-unit chain features salads, sandwiches and smoothies.
  2. Tender Greens. Headquartered in Los Angeles, this 7-unit chain serves gourmet salads.
  3. Burger Lounge. Headquartered in San Diego, this 7-unit chain focuses on sustainability with its grass-fed burger lineup.
  4. Epic Burger. Chicago-based Epic Burger has six units and serves all-natural beef burgers.
  5. Go Roma. Six-unit Go Roma is based out of Chicago and specializes in Italian cuisine.
  6. Cowboy Chicken. Dallas-based Cowboy Chicken has six units open and recently began franchising.
  7. OinkADoodleMoo. This barbecue concept includes four units and is based out of Dayton, Ohio.
  8. Wow Bao. This Asian steamed buns concept, created by Lettuce Entertain You, includes four stores, one food truck and a seasonal store at the Chicago White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field.
  9. I Dream of Falafel. This Chicago-based, three-unit chain just started franchising.
  10. Stacked. Three-unit Stacked offers American staples such as pizza and burgers, and is based out of San Diego.

Forbes also ranked the top five chains that have recently begun ramping up their growth and make for a great buy at the moment. They include Cowboy Chicken, Go Roma, I Dream of Falafel, OinkADoodleMoo and UFood Grill, respectively.

"We're honored to be named a top 'Franchise to Buy Now' by Forbes Magazine," said Sean Kennedy, president of Cowboy Chicken. "As a company born and bred in Dallas and still currently based in Dallas, we are extremely passionate about growing our brand outside of the area as well. Our franchise provides a fast casual solid business and an amazing brand with the best chicken around."

Read more about franchising and growth.

Topics: Franchising & Growth , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Operations Management

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