Welcome to the 2012 edition of the FastCasual.com Top 100 Movers & Shakers, sponsored by Henny Penny!
Just as fast casuals change recipes from time to time, so do publishers. This year—our 7th of publishing the Fast Casual Top 100—we decided, as did many of our brands last year, to add some new flavors t0 our mix.
In the past, the Top 100 focused exclusively on concepts. In so doing, it omitted a range of important factors that contributed to the continued growth of this innovative and rich segment. For this edition, then, our rankings include not only the top brands, but also the people, trends and technologies that contributed most to fast casual.
Our first step was to request nominations from our readers. We received hundreds. Our panelists pored over the results and set about ranking them.
I am optimistic that the new method provides a better reflection of the segment as a whole. Just as in business, it takes a full view to understand where the segment has been and where it’s headed. We hope you believe that our top 100 provides such a view and will continue to do so as we move into another year filled with success.
Allow me to offer a special thanks to this year’s panelists: Linda Duke, founder of Duke Marketing; Darren Tristano, executive vicevice president of Technomic; and Kathleen Wood, founder of Kathleen Wood Partners LLC.