Fast casual diners want to build their own meal
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Jun 9, 2015
Fast casual diners want to build their own meal

It's a format pioneered by Subway and perfected by Chipotle. Now, the build-your-own meal is reshaping restaurants across the US. As fast food giants like McDonald's struggle to boost sales, fast casual restaurants are flourishing by letting people choose their own ingredients.

Fast casual revenues grew 13% in 2014 – ten times that of restaurants overall. And build-your-own restaurants that let people choose what goes into their sandwich, burrito or pizza recorded a 22% increase in sales in 2014, compared to 11% for made-to-order. Chipotle won over diners who sidestep down assembly lines picking burrito ingredients from employees behind the counter. But it's not the only fast casual chain to give customers the freedom to choose.