Project Main Details
To start, all restaurants are either limited service or full service: full service restaurants have a wait staff while limited service restaurants do not.
Beyond that, each limited service and full service restaurant is broken into the following segments:
The quick service restaurant segment, or QSR, is the biggest restaurant category in the nation. They are traditional fast food restaurants with a typical entree price of $8 or less. This includes fast food joints, coffee shops, and even food trucks. QSRs tend to be very value-focused and offer quick and easy-to-eat meals. Think McDonald’s, Panda Express, and Subway.
The fast casual restaurant segment is the fastest growing restaurant category right now. These restaurants generally have an entree price of $8-$15, higher food quality and often dishes and flatware for dine-in customers. The food and atmosphere tend to be more progressive than QSRs, and a few examples are Chipotle, Panera, and Shake Shack.
Kicking off the full service category is casual dining. This segment includes restaurants with entrees priced $10 - $25 dollars and services including a hostess, alcoholic beverages and higher quality ingredients. The menu here tends not to change as often as other segments. IHOP, Olive Garden, and Applebee’s are a few casual dining favorites.
On the higher end of casual dining is upper-casual. With prices of $20-$50, these restaurants offer a better standard of service, full bar, high quality ingredients and more innovative dishes. Mainstays include The Cheesecake Factory, McCormick and Schmick’s (mc-cor-mick and shmiks), and The Capital Grille.
The fine dining restaurant segment serves up the highest level of food and service in the industry. You can expect their entrees to run $50 or more, and their services to include very high quality ingredients, a professional wait staff and usually a refined wine list. Think French Laundry, Alinea (uh-lin-ee-uh), and Nobu (noh-boo).
Restaurants within these segments are either independents or chains. Independents have a single location, while chains have multiple locations by the same name and concept.
Each segment has different needs, but understanding those differences will help us serve our restaurant partners better, so that we can all share in the same success.
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