Chain Profile

Each month, FE&S spotlights a new prototype or kitchen design from a chain restaurant.

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A redesign upgrades both the dining area and kitchen space.

The moral embedded in Aesop’s “The Hare & the Tortoise” fable didn’t always seem to apply to restaurant businesses in the pre-pandemic world as operators rushed to make a profit and show growth, particularly as more private equity companies invested in restaurants. In that go-go-go world, Foosackly’s remained staunchly committed to the tortoise approach.

From testing totally new concepts to rethinking training facilities and the back of the house, today’s chain prototypes offer a testament to the changes reshaping the restaurant industry. Here’s a closer look at some of the most recent chain prototypes in the market.

Editor's note: Toasted Yolk went to Facebook on March 18 to communicate its COVID-19 operating plans.

In 2010, Matthew DeMott and Chris Milton left their safe, stable jobs with Luby’s restaurant chain to start their own restaurant. The move, DeMott acknowledges, was a gamble. Both had young, growing families at the time, and to finance the venture, they relied on savings and even pulled money out of their retirement accounts.

This fast-casual operation is set to go from a single-digit store count to nearly 40 locations in two years.

After tightening its footprint and cleaning up its design, this Cajun concept is ready to move beyond its home base.

California-based Farmer Boys proves that farm to table isn’t just for fine dining.

The inspiration for a restaurant concept can come from all sorts of places. Chains have emerged from the food someone had on a great vacation, from a barbecue hobby and even from dumb dorm room jokes.

This Michigan-based concept predicts national prominence in the wake of COVID-19.

Sometimes a shock to the system is just what a chain needs to spur growth. That’s clearly the case with Eggs Up Grill.

San Jose, Calif.-based Togo’s fast-casual sandwich chain began a major redesign of its stores in 2019.

When there’s nothing but ocean for thousands of miles in every direction, phrases like “locally sourced” and “farm to table” take on a whole new meaning. That’s a lesson Travis Morrin learned early in his career. A chef by training, Morrin is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Fork & Salad, a fast-casual salad and sandwich concept started on the island of Maui.

Catering and off-premises customers represent center-of-the-plate opportunities for this Bay Area fast-casual operation, which should make moves into new markets easier.

The market for craft beer today looks very different than it did back in the late 2000s. While these specialty brews were on the rise then, they could hardly be called mainstream. Today consumers find craft beers up and down the grocery store beer aisle, and craft beer offerings occupy more than their fair share of taps at the average bar.

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