CSP Magazine

Foodservice Concepts to Track (April 2016)

From New York to California, six restaurant models worth watching

Stewart’s Shops

Segment: Convenience

Units: 332

HQ: Ballston Spa, N.Y.

Hook: After investing $30 million in growing its business last year, Stewart’s Shops is planning even more for 2016, with an emphasis on fresh entrées, sandwiches and snacks. More than 150 locations already offer fresh handmade pizza along with more dine-in seating, which was part of the 2015 initiative.

Döner Bistro

Segment: Fast casual

Units: 2

HQ: Leesburg, Va.

Hook: Two natives of Germany founded Döner Bistro when they couldn’t find good döner kebab in the United States. The popular, portable German meal is actually a variation on the Middle Eastern gyro: spiced beef or chicken formed on a spit and served in flatbread with tzatziki, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Joella’s Hot Chicken

Segment: Fast casual

Units: 2

HQ: Louisville, Ky.

Hook: Quickly becoming one of the biggest regional food trends of the year, Nashville-style hot chicken (deep-fried and spiced with a fiery cayenne-based sauce) is expanding beyond the mom-and-pops of Music City. Joella’s Hot Chicken recently added a second location in Lexington, Ky.


Segment: Full service

Units: 1

HQ: Chicago

Hook: Restaurateur Danny Meyer picked an unexpected spot for latest Chicago venture: the top floor of a medical office building. Meyer and his partners hope to lure in not only locals and tourists, but also the Northwestern Memorial Hospital staff working on the floors below.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Segment: Fast casual

Units: 520

HQ: Dallas

Hook: Barbecue’s big in the fast-casual segment, and category leader Dickey’s has rolled out a new design that increases throughput. It streamlined its menu to get closer to its “two minutes, order to pay” promise. Tablets help manage the kitchen and training, and beacons alert managers when loyal guests arrive.

Vitality Bowls

Segment: Fast casual

Units: 19

HQ: San Ramon, Calif.

Hook: The founders of Vitality Bowls have taken the health powers of the açaí fruit and created a smoothie-like meal with a vast variety of toppings. Locations have popped up in California, Colorado, Indiana and Texas, and an additional 40 stores are in development.

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