Are grocery and c-stores a threat or opportunity for fast casual restaurants?

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While new offerings may put some grocery stores and c-stores in direct competition with fast casual brands, new partnerships also present new opportunities for fast casual brands to reach new audiences and new markets.

FEATURES


Potatopia is pushing potatoes to the center of the plate

With a goal of more than doubling Potatopia's unit count in 2015, Alan Dikker has his sights set on elevating the lowly spud.

Stutz ready to gear up growth for McAlister's

McAlister's Deli plans to add 30 new locations in 2015, and Carin Stutz, its new president, would like to step up the pace even more.

North Dakota oil boom spurs fast casual restaurant growth

Thanks at least in part to its energy sector, it makes sense for North Dakota to be on the radar for restaurant developers.

The importance of educating your team about catering

Only through a commitment to education will we have the ability to help others meet a proper standard that can help catering and restaurant leaders adapt to the market changes.

Is Panera 2.0 starting to pay off?

Panera will report on its Q4 and FY 2014 earnings on Feb. 12, and the question on everyone's mind is, "How's that 2.0 thing going?" We sat down with Panera's Blaine Hurst for some background and an update.

The top five fast casual stories for January 2015

The top stories in January centered on restaurants poised for breakout years through franchising and growth; the secrets to Starbucks' success and CEOs' takes on top trends for 2015.

Juice It Up! gears up for aggressive expansion under new VP

The California-based juice bar and smoothie concept hired its first-ever VP of Business Development in November, and Laina Sullivan is ready to take it nationwide.

New Year's resolution: Start the year with a great plan for your business

If you’re one of those people who have great intentions but lack follow through, writing a good business plan is the first major test of your commitment.

Is Zoës Kitchen poised for a breakout year?

Going public landed $42 million on the Mediterranean-inspired concept's balance sheet, and Zoës Kitchen is ready to put those dollars to work growing its footprint.

Strong growth ahead in 2015, predicts the IFA, but threats are looming

While the economic forecast is strong, headwinds caused by the NRLB's joint employer ruling, minimum wage hikes and ACA implementation could curtail QSR franchise growth in 2015.

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NEWS


Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill added 41 new units to pipeline in 2014

Costa Vida will be opening new locations in Denver, Vancouver/Portland, Atlanta, Tampa/Sarasota and Northern California this year. Costa Vida will have additional locations popping up in Utah, Arizona, Texas, Idaho and Illinois this year.

Smoothie Factory reports 60% growth in 2014

Smoothie Factory Juice Bar announced it added 20 new locations in 2014, for a total of 52 locations under its new parent company, BRIX Holdings LLC.

On the move: Which brands signed deals and opened new units this week?

Winter weather hasn't put the freeze on growth for several fast casual concepts. Capriotti's, Jersey Mike's Subs, Manny's Neighborhood Grilles and Mediterranean Cafes and Newk's Eatery all signed deals for new units, and many more units opened this week.

Einstein Bros. set to shutter 39 locations

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group has announced it plans to shutter 39 underperforming stores in 11 states on Feb. 24.

Fiesta Restaurant Group posts positive Q4 and FY 2014 results

Pollo Tropical's comps rose 6.6 percent in 2014, while Taco Cabana posted a 3.3 percent increase.

Bennigan's CEO buys brand

Bennigan's CEO Paul Mangiamele and his wife Gwen have formed a new company, Legendary Restaurant Brands LLC, which owns the Bennigan's restaurant chain, as well as its new fast-casual concept, Bennigan's On The Fly and Steak and Ale.

Justin Timberlake's 'Southern Hospitality' inks 5-unit fast casual licensing deal

Bourbon Brothers Holding Corporation has announced a formal agreement to license the Southern Hospitality (SH) brand for new fast casual units in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets.

On the Move: Dickey's, Juice It Up! and others strengthen footprints

The theme this week for new fast casual locations: strengthening footprints.

Chronic Tacos inks deals for dozens of new units

The California-based chain is aiming to open 100 locations by 2018.

Wayback Burgers franchisor teaming up with Uncle Willie's BBQ

Jake's Franchising LLC hopes to take Uncle Willie's BBQ nationwide starting in April.

Shake Shack set to enter Japan in 2016

Shake Shack will partner with SAZABY LEAGUE Ltd., which plans to open ten units in Japan through 2020.

Uncle Maddio's expands in South Carolina

Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint opened its first Charleston, South Carolina-area restaurant in Mount Pleasant.

Pie Five elects new 'President of Pizza'

Pie Five, a fast casual pizza brand, swore in its new President of Pizza to office, Hunter Todd of Franklin, Tennessee, according to a company release.

Fazoli's posts 13.6 percent same store sales increase for January

Fazoli's franchisees and company units posted a combined 13.6 percent same-store sales increase in January – more than double that of their quick-service competitors, which grew at a rate of 6.1 percent.

Heartland acquires Dinerware and pcAmerica

Heartland Payment Systems, a payments processor and provider of merchant business solutions, announced the acquisition of Dinerware and pcAmerica, two point-of-sale companies with solutions covering various hospitality and retail segments.

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Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, takes “fast casual” to the next level. We have created a new market for fast casual authentic homemade pizzas, gourmet salads and toasted Paninis – pioneering the trail for premium fast casual pizza. We are driving this new pizza trend by catering to customers’ expectations for great tasting, reasonably priced, and personalized pizza with high quality ingredients. Our made-to-order pizzas are available in a 9-inch individual, medium or large size, and topped with the freshest ingredients chosen by guests.