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Fast-casual driving growth of Canadian chains: Technomic


June 26, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

June 26, 2014, Chicago – Twenty-two fast-casual restaurant chains cracked the top 200 list in a report on Canadian restaurant chains.

June 26, 2014, Chicago – Twenty-two fast-casual restaurant chains cracked the top 200 list in a report on Canadian restaurant chains.

The
Top 200 Canadian restaurant chains achieved $29.2 billion in sales last
year, accounting for roughly 60 per cent of Canada's total restaurant
sales, according to Technomic's Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report developed in partnership with Kostuch Media.
Keeping on par with the overall foodservice industry, the largest 200
chains saw sales grow more than four per cent in 2013. Additionally, unit
growth jumped nearly three per cent to total 25,710 stores.

Twenty-two fast-casual restaurant chains cracked the Top 200 list
representing nearly three per cent ($795 million) of total Top 200 sales, an
increase of 14 per cent in 2013. The fastest growing fast-casual chains
in 2013 were:

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Fastest Growing Canadian Fast-Casual Chains
Ranked by percent sales growth in 2013

Chain

Sales ($MM)

Sales Growth
(per cent)

Unit Growth
(per cent)

Concept Positioning

Panera Bread Co.

$17

85

33

Upscale fast-casual bakery café

Five Guys

63

49

32

No-frills menu of signature hamburgers

Thai Zone

30

40

50

Quick and convenient Thai concept

Hero Certified Burgers

39

37

46

Preservative-free 100% angus beef burgers

Thai Express

80

32

20

Thai dishes served in a speedy format

Source: Technomic Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report

Technomic's Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report
found that limited-service chains accounted for nearly 74 per cent
($21.5 billion) of total Top 200 sales and 86 per cent of units
(22,073). Sales increased almost five per cent from the prior year, and
units increased three per cent. The fastest-growing limited-service menu
segments were "all other" (doughnut, healthy, other beverage, other ethnic,
poutine and snack), Asian and burger – up 10 per cent, seven per cent and six
per cent, respectively.

Full-service chains saw sales grow three per cent to $7.7 billion in
2013. Overall, full-service chains netted an increase of almost two per
cent in unit count to a total of 3,637. The full-service segment
accounted for 26 per cent of sales and 14 per cent of Top 200 units.

"Growth in the fast-casual subsegment is intensifying," said Darren
Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, in a news release. "Burger, Mexican and
Asian fast-casual concepts are poised for greater expansion. With a
focus on freshness, quality, customizable menu offerings and an
appealing ambiance, they are in a sweet spot between fast food and full
service. In a highly competitive climate, differentiation is key, and
fast-casual restaurants are hitting the mark."

Technomic's updated report provides a detailed executive report
(featuring key themes, forecasted outlook and opportunities) and
rankings of the Top 200 Canadian chain restaurant brands by 2013 sales,
units, and alphabetically. Findings include:

  • Tim Hortons firmly maintained its top spot with Canadian sales of
    over $6 billion in 2013, up four per cent from 2012. McDonald's ($4
    billion) and Subway ($1.6 billion) were again positioned at numbers 2
    and 3.
  • The 22 fast-casual chains within the Top 200 consist of Asian
    (6), burger (5), bakery café (4), Mexican (2), other sandwich (2),
    chicken (1), Greek (1) and healthy (1) concepts.
  • The full-service steak menu category enjoyed the biggest increase
    in sales (seven per cent) and over a six per cent increase in units. The
    varied menu category saw an increase of nearly four per cent in sales and three
    per cent growth in units.