It seems that anyone with a bankroll and a big idea is flocking to the fast casual scene nowadays. And why not? Why go in on a fast food franchise and take orders when you can be your own Colonel, Ray Kroc, or Steve Ells rolled up into one? In the last month alone I’ve discovered a place that dolls up hot potatoes, a joint that hawks donut-shaped burgers, and a counter with a kitchen that offers just four types of taquitos. Starting your own fast casual place means you get to make–and break–all the rules. After scouring Fastcasual.com and getting up to speed on what excites customers, I’ve come up with a few ideas that are just waiting to find a home. Potential investors, you know where to find me.
The seafood space is just waiting for a competitor to knock Luke’s Lobster on it’s back. What better creature to do so than the squid? It’s a great creature. Choose from either deep-fried or grilled to start off, then select your toppings. Keep it traditional with lemon and marinara sauce or opt for combinations like Popeye’s Platter featuring a spinach and cheese sauce. Whatever you choose, you can be sure your order will come out CALAMARVELOUS!
4. Madam Brioche
It’s a known fact that some of the best burgers in New York–ahem Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger–are served on a brioche roll. So wouldn’t you like a refined, sophisticated brioche-based lunch at a fair price? Well then, I present to you: MADAM BRIOCHE! A variety of proteins come served on your choice of brioche, which comes in roll, loaf, pie, or crouton form if you’re opting for a salad. Gluten-free? Not to worry, the Madam caters to all type of customers and is happy to accommodate any allergy or dietary restriction.
3. Billy Goat Gruff’s
Goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, yet no one is jumping on the opportunity to bring the fairy tale star to American food courts. This is a gold mine just waiting to be discovered. At Billy Goat Gruff’s, pair your goat burger, goat steak, or full rack of goat ribs with one of over 200 craft beers. Opt for the mountain man package and get a chance to select the actual goat that’ll be fired up to your liking.
Free yourself and eat whatever and wherever the hell you want at this cutting edge concept–there’s just one caveat: iAte is all digital. Customers enter a virtual world where they are presented images of delicious food based on the menu they select. Because this is the internet, customers will have their choice of eating meals prepared trendy chefs like the Torrisi Brothers, Michael White, and Scott Conant. Options include three- to nine-course meals as well as over 10,000 types of cuisines. Feeling adventurous? Opt for northeastern Nepalese farm-to-table and brag about all the weird dishes you tried. Want to wow your friends on Instagram? Snap a pic of your virtual tasting menu and watch the likes pour in. The best part? You’ll never gain any weight. After all, dining out in this day and age isn’t really about the food, it’s how quickly you can hop from one super hot listed restaurant to another to tell your friends iAte the best of the best.
1. The Brooklyn…Brooklyn Company
Putting the word Brooklyn in front of any fast casual concept immediately paints a lovely picture of artistic ingenuity, a.k.a. the perfect profitable back story. Like a set of Keebler Elves wearing flannel, these bearded mischief-makers transform everyday products into something amazing. Why not bring Brooklyn to every state in the union and abroad? Pickles, beef jerky, salsa, tacos, soda, and anything considered food or beverages by the FDA are all available. You name it, we make it and slap the word Brooklyn on it, and you have yourself a tasty artisanal treat. Or like, something totally more original than anything you’d find in Manhattan.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 14, 2013