Foodservice Equipment Reports

Fast-Casual Chains Add Table Service To Adapt To Zoning

It took an upgrade to table service for two Florida-based quick-service chains to get the thumbs-up to open their doors in Winter Park, Fla.

The city, near Orlando, agreed to zone in fast-casual concepts Firehouse Subs and BurgerFi for Park Avenue, its upscale dining and shopping district, but only if the chains would modify their concepts by including signage--which directs customers who want table service to bypass the service counter and seat themselves--and adding staff to handle tableside service. North Palm Beach-based BurgerFi, which has around 50 total locations, opened its tweaked store last year. The 600-unit, Jacksonville–based Firehouse Subs will open a unit next to BurgerFi in August.

While city officials relented on those two chains, they currently are rewriting zoning regulations for Park Avenue to bar other quick-service restaurants. Wording is tricky because the city would like to encourage certain high-end chains and continue to bar others.