Chain Profile

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


This biscuit chain saw its store count drop by more than a third, but a rebrand and focus on its core menu items has it back in growth mode.

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

After a decline in store counts, this comfort-food chain is positioning itself for renewed growth.

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

This fast-casual Tex-Mex chain’s redesign features a more efficient kitchen and other elements to improve the experience for off-premises and dine-in guests.

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

A menu built on rice, protein and veggies helped this California-based chain achieve its best-ever sales during the pandemic.

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

This casual-dining concept redesigned with off-premises sales and on-premises experiences in mind.

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.

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.