How casual & family dining is innovating
Families at Red Robin have the best of both worlds—a kid-friendly ambiance with adult-worthy food and drink.
For all the concerns about family- and casual-dining chains in recent years, the sector is still filled with innovation and growth. Expanding chains like First Watch, a daytime only café based in Florida, are receiving kudos for their quality, which leads to considerable interest from strong franchisee prospects. In addition, existing concepts are finding new ways to adapt to consumers’ changing tastes and their desire for cheap eats quickly.
As you’ll read in the following pages, express concepts are increasingly popular among these brands, and family chains are capitalizing on their lower costs to lure more diners. Franchisees, meanwhile, continue to add new units while devising ways to make their stores more profitable. Concepts such as Denny’s that struggled for years to add new restaurants are growing again as their well-capitalized operators build.
This isn’t to say the sector won’t face headwinds. Most of these chains are still struggling with declines in same-store sales, a key measurement of restaurant finances and key figures like unemployment will likely hold back real growth. But the struggles in recent years have spurred many of these concepts into action, and those efforts appear to be bearing fruit.