Technomic reports single-digit sales growth for fast casual in 2017

Newly published data reveals what’s next for the popular fast-casual segment

CHICAGO, May 8, 2018: The fast-casual segment has rebounded since 2016, but experienced a consecutive year of single-digit sales growth performance in 2017. Unit growth decreased for the third consecutive year, dropping from 9.8% in 2015 to 6.1% in 2017. These findings and more can be found in Technomic’s recently released Top 250 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report, now available for purchase.

The 2018 report can be purchased at

“Although the segment shows signs of slowing, fast casual is still a bright spot in the industry,” said Dave Henkes, Technomic senior principal. “There are a lot of exciting things happening on fast-casual menus and, as the U.S. market becomes increasingly crowded, we can expect many of these brands to look internationally to further bolster their brand.”

Key themes from the report include:

  • Total sales growth in 2017 was at 9% for the top 250 restaurant chains
  • Chicken was the hot protein of 2017 and fast casuals capitalized on its popularity
  • Fast-casual chains with impressive triple-digit unit growth included CoreLife Eatery and Wahlburgers
  • Despite being the smallest fast-casual menu category by sales, the pizza segment continued to outshine the others, with a 27.3% year-over-year increase

Looking forward, expect to see fast casuals featuring a larger focus on clean-eating initiatives and planet-friendly changes to align with growing concerns among consumers. Ethnic flavors and ingredients will also thrive in the coming year with the rise of Middle Eastern concepts, touting exotic yet healthful menu items. Chains looking for more exponential growth will look to unpenetrated global markets, including Australia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

To purchase or learn more about this and other industry reports from Technomic, please visit or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Press inquiries: Dave Henkes, (312) 506-3927,
Purchasing details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852, or

About Technomic
Technomic Inc., a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. It impacts growth and profitability for clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Its services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Its clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit Technomic at

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant BusinessFoodService DirectorConvenience Store Products, and Winsight Grocery Business. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership ConferenceOutlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTECMenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. In 2015, Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to

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