Foodservice Equipment Reports

Dramatic Fast-Casual Chain Growth Continued In 3Q, Reports Technomic

The Chicago-based foodservice research firm Technomic Inc. reported that fast-casual chains grew year-on-year sales nearly 8% in the third quarter, well outpacing an overall chain same-store sales increase of 2%. The overall numbers are weighted for chain size and include McDonald’s, which significantly pulls down the averages, because of recent declines in its same-store sales. Technomic said casual-dining chains saw same-store sales rise 1.9% while quick-service restaurants, with McDonald’s but not including fast-casual restaurants, managed only a 1.2% increase in the quarter.

“Our quarterly Technomic sales tracker continues to report low restaurant growth across all segments but fast-casual,” said Darren Tristano, executive v.p. at the firm. “Growth rates around 2% continue to signal heated competition for share of stomach and strong trends in consumer frugality.” Gasoline prices had only begun their dramatic plunge through the summer months of the third quarter, which may signal results could improve in the fourth quarter.

The same-store sales numbers are included in tracking data from more than 100 national public and private chains generating more than $40 billion in quarterly sales. The numbers are part of Technomic’s online Financial Dashboard, which provides up-to-date industry information, commodity trends and chain performance and financial data across multiple segments. Information on Technomic research products is available at

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