Slotted Spoon gets the meatball rolling.
Slotted Spoon gets the meatball rolling.
Mark Manger

Fast-casual restaurants are on a roll, with Slotted Spoon joining the lineup

There's a land rush under way in the fast-casual industry, with restaurateurs nationwide frantically trying to grab a piece of this fast-growing segment. Just how fast is it growing? According to Technomic, eight of the ten fastest-growing chains in America (with sales of at least $2 million) are of the order-at-the-counter, wait-a-minute-while-your-food-is-made-fresh variety.

"Fast-casual growth continues to outpace that of quick and full service," the Technomic website reports. "Though it's still a small, emerging segment (comprising six percent of the restaurant industry) its influence is great. With origins in once-innovative concepts such as Fuddruckers and Koo Koo Roo and the 'home meal replacement' trend -- as well as prime development seen in chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread and Five Guys Burgers and Fries -- the fast-casual sector has evolved and expanded. The old terminology 'adult fast food' is no longer an adequate definition."

See also: - First look: The Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery opens - Denver's five best homegrown, fast-casual chains -- from Noodles to Chipotle - Is there room for Korean food in the growing fast-casual sector?

Burritos, salads, noodles, burgers and even Korean restaurants have already staked a claim here in Colorado. Now Alex Comisar, Johnny Coast and chef Jensen Cummings have joined the frenzy with a new (for Denver, at least) concept: meatballs.

Find out what kind of territory they've carved out with their hand-rolled pork, beef, chicken, salmon and veggie balls when my review of Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery is posted here tomorrow.

And in the meantime, if you were starting a new fast-casual restaurant, what would your concept be?


We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >