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Fast-Casual Chains Survey Results Revealed
September 1, 2015
Today Zagat is revealing the results of its first-ever Fast-Casual Chains Survey based on the thoughts and opinions of 6,671 fast-casual diners from around the country. The survey focuses on high-quality, counter-service restaurants that opened after 2005 with between two and fifty locations nationally.
The findings reveal that the majority of participants (80%) say they eat out at least a few times a month at a fast-casual restaurant. Of these respondents, 60% say eat fast-casual meals most often for lunch.
Chef-driven fast-casual restaurants have been popping up all over, like DC-based spots
G By Mike Isabella
and Spike Mendelsohn’s
Good Stuff Eatery
, Art Smith’s
in the Bay Area and Rick Bayless’
in Chicago. Having a big-name chef at the helm is important to diners. In fact, 65% say they are more likely to go to a place if it is gourmet or chef-driven. Additionally, 78% of folks say they would like to see more local chefs open fast-casual eateries.
Tortas Frontera, Chicago
But how popular is tipping at these counter-service spots? About one-third of participants report not tipping in fast-casual restaurants while another one-third opt to leave between $1 – $2.
Burgers are still a tried-and-true favorite, dominating as the most-consumed fast-casual cuisine. Following close behind are Mexican, American and Pizza.
When it comes to which qualities are most important in a fast-casual locale, diners say it’s Food/ingredient quality above all – followed by Cleanliness and Value. Interestingly, despite many of these spots being known for their fast-casual format, Convenience & speed fall behind in fourth place.
More than half (54%) of diners say that it is important to them that a fast-casual establishment be GMO-free. Another 59% feel that offering organic food is important.
Most diners enjoy their fast-casual meals with Family (40%), while others most frequently go it Alone (27%), with Friends (22%) or Colleagues (11%). Among those in their 20’s, the majority share their fast-casual meals with Friends most often, though this decreases with age. Eating with Family or Alone, however, increases with age.
To learn more about this year’s results, and find out where to enjoy your next fast-casual meal, check out
Posted by: Charlotte Ames, Zagat
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