Fast Casual Is a Fast Mover

By Marni Andrews

In Canada, fast casual is a fast growing segment of foodservice, and operators are paying attention. Targeted towards a different consumer experience, some fast casual chains are using drivers such as health and international flavours to bring people in the doors. This month, ORN takes a look at how some operators are taking their restaurants for a drive in the fast lane.

“The fast casual model targets a customer who understands and is willing to pay more for the customer experience and quality of products,” says Scott Strickland, senior director of marketing, foodservice for Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, which offers a wide variety of products to the fast casual market. There is little margin for error with these attributes.

He identifies speed of service, specialty ingredients and globally-inspired flavours as trends. “Canadian consumers have adventurous palates and are willing to try bolder flavours. Chefs are able to scale back on high-end menus to demonstrate quality, flavour and unique preparation with only a few ingredients,” he explains.


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