A new set of America’s 100 most loved fast casual restaurants will get the recognition they deserve this 2015 from FastCasual.com. Out of hundreds of nominations received by the organizers of the annual Fast Casual Executive Summit, the chosen brands stood out based on factors, such as high sales and successful execution of trends in terms of menus, innovative technology, and lucrative marketing strategies.
See if your favorite sandwich shop or deli made the cut below.
1. Panera Bread
Panera Bread topped the list of fast casual sandwich restaurants due to their investment in both mobile and digital technology for better service quality.The company created the Panera 2.0 app for mobile payment and digital-ordering, and they were first in the industry to have the Apple Pay option. Moreover, the menu will be more “consumer health friendly” very soon due to its Food Policy Statement – no artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors and preservatives in any of its menu items by 2017.
2. Jersey Mike’s Subs
Technology, marketing, and philanthropy contributed to this 1950’s subway sandwich shop’s popularity. It has its own iPhone app for digital ordering and loyalty program. Its “A Sub Above” marketing campaign capitalized on its passion for giving customers the best sub sandwich experience, and its Month of Giving charity work invites customers to donate to the partner charity organization of a local branch every year.
3. McAlister’s Deli
In celebration of its 25th anniversary last year, McAlister’s Deli added 17 new locations and formally sealed 12 deals for 77 additional locations. The brand is popular amongst children and adults because of its new menu items, like the limited-edition Big Bold Cheesesteak and made-for-you flavored drinks (Wild Berry Tea, Peach Tea, Strawberry Lemonade, and Watermelon Lemonade). McAlister’s has also succeeded in maintaining good business relations with its franchise owners.
4. Jason’s Deli
Jason’s Deli is famous for its lunch menu, catering service, and customer relations. With customer satisfaction being a key objective for the company, it receives consumer feedback via social media, surveys, a toll-free hotline, and other channels. In addition, the company offers a web-based tool for anyone with food allergies and has banned the use of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats from its menu.
Popular ratings awarded to this well-known deli are subject to new menu additions and a well received mobile app named Lotz4Me Guest Rewards. Apart from the hand-carved meat and cheese selections, customers can order from the new “Full Bright” menu, selecting their preference in bread for their oven-baked sandwiches, like the Italian ciabatta, potato chive focaccia, soft pretzel roll, and gluten-free bun. Also available are gourmet pizzas, oven-baked wraps, artisan flatbreads, fresh tossed salads, and soups. Furthermore, the Lotz4Me Guest Rewards mobile app received an impressive 60,000 downloads in less than one month after its launch.
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