Fast Casual Dining & Changing Eating Habits


Fast Casual Dining, the combination of casual dining with a focus on speed and a lack of formalities more typically associated with more formal restaurants, has had a presence in the UK for a number of years. However, it is only relatively recently that there has been a surge in the number of alternative concepts appearing on the UK high streets and in shopping centres.

The more recent entrants to the fast casual dining market are reflective of the changing needs and requirements of consumers and the wider trends in the marketplace, specifically:

  • a requirement for fast service to support those customers wanting to eat in 15-30 minutes and sometimes, less
  • new types of food and the merging of traditional dining times
  • ‘small plates’ and lifestyle demands, including improved wellbeing supported by freshly prepared quality food and tasty healthier options
  • environments that support sustainable and more ethical living

Catering_AdvicePerhaps most importantly in the current economic times, the majority of the more recent concepts also provide greater value for money and the ability to still eat out without breaking the bank and for some, the ability to eat out often.

The types of concepts emerging and specifically those rapidly expanding are both supporting and driving the UK’s changing eating habits. Concepts focused on healthier eating and wellbeing are particularly evident, represented by brands including POD and Leon. Mexican food has also gained significant momentum with the growth on brands such as Chialango, Chimichanga and Wahaca. While concepts such as Ping pong, the dim sum concept, appear to be popping up everywhere.

The below list is a sample of some of the more notable concepts that are supporting and changing how we eat out.

Bill’s Cafe, Restaurant & Store – All Day Dining:

Union Jacks – Flatbreads:

Byron – Burgers:

Ping Pong – Dim Sum:

Chilango – Mexican:

Leon – Tasty – Healthy & Natural Food:

Yalla Yalla – Beirut Street Food:

Wahaca – Mexican Market Eating:

Yoo Moo – Fat Free Frozen Yoghurt:

POD – Fresh, Seasonal, Healthy Food:

Busaba Eathai – Thai: www.busaba.comFood_Trends

Gail’s – Artisan Bakery:

If you want to know which are the popular foods and eating styles of the moment, watch out for those concepts that are expanding and flourishing.

Montfort Consultants – Catering Consultants

Posted on December 9th, 2011