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Hand Held Food Still Drives 'Em In

In a recent survey conducted by David Decker of Consumer Edge Insight  of restaurant customers in the United States, when it comes to identifying what drives loyalty for restaurants, the most commonly-cited factors in determining which fast-casual restaurant is visited most often are best-tasting food (51%), good service (46%), cleanliness (45%), and highest-quality food (43%). The survey included 17 of the largest fast-casual restaurant brands in the US.

Look at the companies in the top 5 and the products that they serve.  Regular readers of this blog know that Hand Held Food continues to fuel retail food growth in the United States and around the world.  It is one of the main drivers within the grocerant niche.

Here are some of the findings: “The survey asked consumers to rate restaurant brands on different attributes. The fast-casual brands with the strongest perceptions for providing “great-tasting food” among past visitors were Pei Wei Asian Diner (51%), Culver’s (49%), Panera Bread (47%), and Chipotle Mexican Grill (46%). Pei Wei Asian Diner (44%), Panera Bread (43%), Culver’s (42%), Firehouse Subs (39%), and Five Guys Burgers (38%) were the top scoring brands for having “good service.” The top-scoring fast-casual brands for “high-quality food” were Pei Wei Asian Diner (45%), Panera Bread (43%), Chipotle Mexican Grill (38%), Firehouse Subs (37%), and Culver’s (33%)….

The survey also asked past-three-month-visitors to each brand how satisfied they were with their most recent visit and how likely they were to visit again. The brand whose recent customers are most likely to visit again is Chipotle Mexican Grill (73% said they will “definitely” visit again), followed by Panera Bread (70%), Culver’s and Firehouse Subs (with 67% each), and Five Guys Burgers and Zaxby’s (with 66% each).”

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About Steven Johnson

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Do you know who your competitors are today?  Do you know what they are selling? Do you know what your customers think of their food?  No? Well, maybe it's time to get a Grocerant Scorecard completed by the Grocerant Guru.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® and a recognized food industry thought leader. Johnson excels at vertical brand and product positioning, marketing strategy and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity.  He can help place new products in non-traditional channels of distribution.

 With an emphasis in grocerant niche, his focus has been on better for you food that is fresh or prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat.  He developed and implemented of the 5 P’s for food marketing for all retail foodservice companies, including chain drugstores, grocery stores, QSR’s and particularly C-store clients.

 During the past 15 years he has developed over 7.5 billion Dollars in avenues of new business revenue for clients and companies. His experience has focused primarily on C-level sales and brand  building opportunity with industry leading international companies including: The Procter & Gamble Company, Papa John’s International, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Chi Chi’s, TGI Fridays, Fuddruckers,, Technomic, The Hartman Group.

 Prior to Foodservice Solutions, Johnson worked for the US Department of the Navy, where he led the development of Parcheesi’s Pizza Pasta Plus for global roll out and implementation including the development of the first dockside mobile pizza kitchen for use by the US Navy during the first Gulf War.

Johnson holds a Master’s of Science in Food Marketing degree with distinction from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business School Honor Society.  Johnson has received numerous awards including 3 EMMEY; Awarded by 3M for “Outside the box” thinking and team leadership. Food Marketing Award; Awarded by Saint Joseph’s University, Outstanding Service Award issued by the Boy Scouts of America.

Don't get trapped doing what you have always done. Position your company with the evolving consumer. Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P's of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? That's simple, call for Outside Eyes call the Grocerant Guru. Email Steve at: or visit: for more information. Visit us at, or tweet Steve at

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