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Faster, Casualer

Ihop express

Three’s always a trend, right? Chains, some already downscale, appear to be downscaling further.

Already fast-casual Pei Wei Asia Bistro has created a new brand Pei Wei Asian Market that has eliminated table service and real plates and created cheap combos. In other words, the suburbs now have an equivalent to the ubiquitous Chinese takeout New Yorkers take for granted.

Sit-down Red Robin is opening Red Robin Burger Works, a fast casual concept that could work in non-traditional locations and “urban environments” where the brand is currently absent. Denver will be the test site.

IHOP is taking the same route with IHOP Express. The first location recently opened in San Diego. Thankfully, the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity will still be offered on the abbreviated menu.

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