"Fast Fine" bumps up the fast-casual dining sector one more notch with better quality food at slightly higher ticket items, more modern d├ęcor and trendier brand identities.

"At our recent Fast-Casual Trends & Directions event, we talked a lot about 'fast fine,' almost as a segment within fast-casual," Chapman says, and points out Tom & Eddie's as an example. "The food is chef-driven and the prices are a bit higher than the $9 to $13 per person fast-casual average."

The fast fine niche gives operators an opportunity to further differentiate from fast food, while still offering a faster and less expensive meal than casual dining. Those showcasing locally grown veggies or meat from humanely treated animals, such as Chipotle and 4Food in New York, can get away with a slight bump in prices. And design has to be top-notch. Sleek, modern, urban, high-tech: these stepped up spots combine it all.

For a complete list of our 2013 trends click here