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2015 Chain Innovators

Today’s foodservice consumer has innumerable quality food options from which to choose. What they want, however, are foodservice providers that can deliver something that relates to their lifestyles and self-images.

As a result, today’s innovative restaurant chains are as diverse as their various target markets. From a hybrid butcher shop and full-service restaurant to budding concepts that celebrate Southern staples such as chicken salad and Greek-inspired cuisine, innovative restaurant concepts focus as much on the menu as they do the experience. From fast-casual pizza concepts that allow customers to build their own pies to daypart-focused darlings that dominate the burgeoning breakfast, brunch and lunch segments, innovative chains continue to marry culinary vision with the customer’s definition of value.

Many know that one size no longer fits all, and operators continue to explore flexible formats that allow their concepts to go where their customers’ busy lives take them — and they do it without compromising their brand promise.

While other businesses continue to soul search in an attempt to innovate, in the restaurant industry it has become standard operating procedure. From the established concept to the new kid on the block, foodservice operators must innovate or run the risk of becoming irrelevant. On the following pages senior editor Dana Tanyeri profiles 10 innovative restaurant chains that continue to raise the bar for innovation.

List of 2015 Chain Innovators: 

4 Rivers Smokehouse

Belcampo Meat Co. 

Cava Grill

Chicken Salad Chick


Pizza Studio

Punch Bowl Social

Rocco's Taco's


Tava Indian Kitchen