Five Guys

4 years ago

In the highly competitive restaurant industry, where innovation reigns, a lot can happen in the span of half a decade. Five years ago, the quick-serve industry was a different place. Five Guys was mostly a regional player and the better-burger category had yet to explode. Chipotle started making headlines with its commitment to sustainable food. And operators were raving about hot trends like eco-friendly packaging and the renewed focus on coffee.

Now, of course, all of that is old news. Five Guys leapt into national prominence and ushered in the better burger category. Chipotle became a major leader in the locally grown food movement, inspiring others to take a closer look at their menus. Once-trendy ideas like greener packaging and gourmet coffee are now a given at many companies. In a similar vein, restaurants in their infancy today could be the heavyweights of tomorrow, spurred to growth by a new generation of customers.

Weaned on social media, scarred by the recession, and increasingly interested in global flavors, todays consumers are seeking out a different kind of restaurant.

In the next half-decade, these five segments stand to gain the most.

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