News - 05.17.2019

When Casual Dining Beats Fast-Casual, You Pivot

A fellow Chicago brand, Tokyo-style ramen concept Furious Spoon, also began making the transition to a more full-service style late last year. Over the span of a few months, the concept rolled out the switch to its handful of freestanding locations. Chef Shin Thompson says the new service model allows the brand to better serve and educate its guests, answering any questions they might have and making suggestions suited to their tastes. “We have a lot of things on the menu that are maybe a little bit foreign to a lot of people who are not familiar with the cuisine, and the Japanese ingredients require a little more explanation,” he says. “Now we’re able to walk them through the menu without any time restraints.” For fast casuals considering a switch to full service, Thompson says it’s something that takes a lot of time and requires plenty of planning. “It’s really a process of making sure the right people are in the right place and all the training and systems are in place before the rollout,” he adds. “Take the time to do things right to make sure the transition goes more smoothly.”