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to improve the economics of restaurants that are so costly to build and operate. Fast-casual 3.0 restaurants have a chance of making a greater profit as they rethink small spaces for more takeout/delivery, keep chef-driven menus, add a little booze for good measure, and offer limited hours, but package so much in those few hours. It’s not a slam dunk by all means, as these concepts can pay up to 30 percent off the top to have third-party delivery companies dispatch food to customers. Chiko’s formula is the basis of what can make these fast-casual 3.0 concepts successful: Crispy Spring Rolls. Photo by Chiko.

Additional fast-casual 3.0 concepts have been found in Manhattan and Oakland, Calif. For those of us who have grown up around food businesses, Chiko is different. And according to a trendologist, Chiko is the next step up in fast-casual evolution: a place where you can get chef-driven (not chef-inspired or contrived) food, with minimal wait times. Said the Baum + Whiteman report, “Expect generally to be jostled by delivery boys and carryout customers hurrying for the door … because 50 percent (or more) of these places’ food is consumed off the premises.” Baum + Whiteman suggests fast-casual 3.0 makes perfect sense. The economics of a fun, chefdriven fast-casual concept with minimal space because of digital takeout and delivery orders makes perfect sense. Millennials and Gen Z are taking their food to go. For those (younger) adults who have lived an entire lifetime with fast casuals like Panera Bread, Au Bon Pain and Chipotle, Chiko is a restaurant for their generation—the next evolution and iteration. Millennials and Gen Z consumers—as they are known—are quasi- or full-digital natives, respectively. For them, quick-service settings with access to chef-driven cuisine that is fine-dining caliber is the “next big thing” in restaurant food. Chef-driven and chef-operated concepts can rework space, but still offer delicious food. This is the evolution of the fast-casual restaurant: RESTAURANT C-SUITE | Restaurant news that’s fresh, informed, inspired (by you) 12

• Offering booze: Why not? These concepts have a lot of off-premises business. Those who want the experiential may want to indulge beyond the great chef-driven food. • Reconfigured space: Fast casual 3.0 is breaking with the traditional notion of “polished.” And less space means cheaper. Half of customer may linger for a great, chef-driven meal and spirits. The other half will take food to go or opt for delivery. As prominent restaurant chains target 30 percent to 40 percent of sales coming from off-premises business, this forward-looking model makes a lot of sound business sense. Expect to see more space added for takeout and delivery business and for the experiential. At Chiko Dupont, there is a chef’s counter for chef-driven meals and experiences, while a dedicated window on a different floor is used for off-premises orders. • No (artificial) price barrier. Polished fastcasual concepts price their chef-driven menus at a price the market will bear. Customers expect freshly-prepared food with culinary dedication and skill. They’ll have a choice between ticketed dinners, tasting tables (and counters) and what’s on the weekly menu in quick fashion, and they’re willing to pay for it. In fast casual 3.0, the difference between $15 and $35 (or more) average tickets translates into more complex cuisine, access to “fine-dining-like” meals and having a variety of trendy food and drink selections. Polished fast-casual concepts that offer global

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Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...

Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...