February 26th, 2018

Mediterranean Fast-Casual on the Rise

Posted in Consumer Trends, Food Trends, Restaurants

Mediterranean Cuisine Shows Continued Growth in the Fast-Casual Market

food-salad-healthy-vegetables

Fast-casual restaurants continue to gain steam as their popularity with multiple demographics holds strong. By focusing on quality ingredients within a limited, often chef-driven menu, combined with a lower overhead cost of standard brick-and-mortar establishments, fast-casual creates an opportunity to sell delicious, high quality food at reasonable prices.

Within this market, we are seeing Mediterranean cuisine thrive. With fresh ingredients, hearty options for both vegetarians and carnivores, and a continued nationwide interest in the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, the food of places like Greece, Israel, and Turkey are grasping the palates of customers nationwide and not letting go.

Restaurants like Gyroville, who have recently expanded to Ecuador, Taim, which extends from the Chipotle leadership and is set to open its 5th location, and Sajj Mediterranean opening its 8th location, exemplify the new wave of menu focused fast-casual Mediterranean restaurants. Combine these with the already existing trailblazers such as Garbanzo, Zoe’s Kitchen, and Noon Mediterranean (formerly Verts), which focus more heavily on customization, and you can see a strong pattern of flavor-first concepts taking a strong hold in an already crowded marketplace.

pexels-photo-407293

Drivers of these establishments include on-trend flavors like harissa, preserved lemon, and za’ataar. The common link between these items is their unique depth of flavor stemming from ingredients or procedures uncommon to the average American diner. This dissociation will not last long though, especially at the current rate of growth in the Mediterranean food market.

There’s still plenty to taste and explore in this cuisine, and hopefully it’s continued popularity will drive some of the even more ambiguous items, such as Cholent and Magiritsa, into the spotlight.

Until then, we’ll keep our eyes open and tasting spoons ready.

Cheers!

Tags: , , , , , ,
February 12th, 2018

Yum! Invests $200 Million into GrubHub

Posted in news, Retail

Yum! + GrubHub

What Does the $200 Million Investment Mean?

GrubHub

As more and more consumers turn to delivery for their goods (think Amazon, Whole FoodsExpress Scripts), more corporations are taking notice and finding ways to creatively bring their products to consumers. Yum! Brands, parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, is leading by example by investing a cool $200 million into food delivery service GrubHub.

With representation in over 1,300 U.S. cities and London, GrubHub connects diners to more than 75,000 restaurants. Yum! Brands’ investment shows a belief in the power of GrubHub’s service while taking a long term view on franchisee support by helping to ensure that delivery options will be more readily available to the restaurants’ customers.

Yum! Brands

Consider that between Taco Bell and KFC, there are more than 10,100 locations in the U.S. While GrubHub does not currently have representation in all of the current areas these restaurants reside, it’s obvious that Yum! brands wants to ensure they have every opportunity to make their way into these markets.

The hope is that this partnership will not only lead to incremental sales increases and larger per check orders, but also help to raise awareness for online delivery services and attract more franchisees who can see the benefit of having an additional sales channel. By giving franchisees more opportunities to succeed through creative, forward-thinking channels, Yum! puts itself in a very attractive light for future growth.

For further information, see the Nation’s Restaurant News article by Ron Ruggless.

Tags: , , , , ,