Seeking Alpha

Restaurant sector: Fast casual chains a growing force

  • The fast casual segment of the restaurant industry continues to create turmoil for the casual dining portion as improved quality and nimble service proves hard for consumers to ignore.
  • A smashing 13% gain in comp sales by Chipotle (CMG -4.2%) in Q1 demonstrates the ability of the fast-casual superstars (NDLS, PNRA) to continue to carve out market share even as the retail sector shows slow growth.
  • Restaurants analyst think the issue might run deeper than just a consumer unimpressed by an oversupply of undifferentiated dine-in brands. Regional chains and independent concepts have a significant culinary innovation advantage that could prove difficult for the larger casual dining chains to overcome.
  • Casual dining stocks: CAKE, RRGB, IRG, DIN, DENN, EAT, CBRL, BWLD, FRS, RT, BOBE, BDL.
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