A man orders at a Teriyaki Madness restaurant.

Fast Casual Customer Demographics: Who’s Choosing Fast Casual?

Almost 50% of adults say that dining out is an essential part of their lifestyle because of how convenient it is. Fast casual demographics show that as consumers continue to be pressed for time, they’re taking advantage of being able to order good food in an efficient way. While inflation is playing a role in the dining experience, consumers are not giving up their out-of-home dining preferences. Instead, they are likely to trade down their choices.

All of this is good news for fast casual restaurants like Teriyaki Madness – a Japanese restaurant that has been franchising since 2005. The brand was an originator of the fast casual industry for Asian food. TMAD has has grown by more than 100% in the past three years and we aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

The Evolution of the Fast Casual Restaurant

The Washington Post took a deep dive into the evolution of fast casual dining, noting it was the biggest food trend in the past decade. The concept began in the 1990s with a focus on healthier food, a step above the fast food restaurant chains. In 2009, there were just over 17,000 fast casual restaurants in the U.S., producing $19 billion in sales. By 2018, the number of locations had doubled, and sales surpassed $47 billion.

So why the demand for fast casual restaurants? They combine the quality of full service restaurants with the convenience of fast food:

  • Diners enjoy being able to customize their meals just as they would in a full service restaurant
  • Service levels mimic those of fast food chains
  • Fast casual menus offer fresh ingredients that can be prepared quickly
  • Dine-in customers enjoy a more attractive environment than fast food can offer
  • Online ordering and dedicated pickup options make it as convenient as fast food

From a business perspective, fast casual concepts require less staff and often have a smaller footprint than both full service and fast food chain counterparts.

Millennials Are Biggest Segment Within Fast Casual Demographics

The need for healthier, quick-access food was driven by millennials, but the concept quickly appealed to the masses who saw it as a fit for their changing lifestyles. Whether diners were more health-conscious, had dietary restrictions, or simply wanted alternative options for on-the-go food, fast casual restaurants have been filling the void.

According to a 2020 industry report, 83% of adults dine at fast food and fast casual restaurants every week. 67% prefer a takeout or delivery service and 41% are ordering online for curbside pickup. A third of those adults are using those options more today than they were two years ago.

Today’s Fast Casual Demographics

The fast casual restaurant targets the business lunch crowd. As the demand for healthier options continues to be a main factor, the desire for ethnic cuisine has increased, creating a niche for fast casual restaurants like Teriyaki Madness. Their menu includes orange chicken, spicy tofu, salmon, brown rice, and edamame, to name just a few. Plus, the ingredients are always fresh, never frozen, with the option of gluten-free sauces to appeal to a variety of health-conscious diners.

When comparing restaurant options, fast casual is still the smallest portion of the industry – but it’s poised for growth. Fresh, healthy, and delicious food that can be served quickly is always going to be in demand.

Teriyaki Madness: A Fast-Growing Restaurant Franchise

In 2021, Teriyaki Madness was the fastest-growing restaurant franchise with sales of $60 million, an increase of 39% from 2020. During the pandemic, they added 27 locations, proving that America’s desire for healthy, fast dining was strong. The industry is estimated to grow an incredible 11.56% between 2022 and 2027.

Growing in the fast casual industry depends on being innovative with the entire guest experience, from ordering to menu customization. The Teriyaki Madness business model showcases strength in both areas, proven by their $1.10 million* Average Unit Volume (AUV). The initial investment and startup costs range from $305,750 to $731,260* depending on the market and location needs. TMAD’s goal is to have your franchise up and running in 10-12 months.

Download The Franchise Report

Teriyaki Madness is a healthy food franchise. TMAD believes that diners deserve better than over-processed, artificial ingredients with little or no nutritional value. As an investment opportunity, TMAD has a smaller menu, a lower initial investment cost than most restaurant franchises, and are future-oriented in the food business.

You can feel good about being a Teriyaki Madness franchisee. Download the TMAD franchise report today and see how their small-footprint restaurant could be exactly what you’ve been craving.

*Refer to the Franchise Disclosure Document

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