NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - Dec 19, 2012) - With diners looking to cut down on both spending and fat grams in 2013, New Orleans BBQ franchise VooDoo BBQ & Grill is keeping up with restaurant industry trends toward healthier, more affordable meal choices in fast-casual settings:
- Fast-casual rising. Fast-casual restaurant concepts continued to grow at a rate faster than any other segment in the industry: 8.4 percent sales growth for the top 150 fast-casual franchises in 2011, compared to 3.5 percent growth for the overall industry, according to Technomic. But fast-casual's influence shows in areas beyond numbers. Even popular fast-food chains are beginning to adopt fast-casual-style food options and décor. "VooDoo BBQ & Grill's unique brand continues to stand alone in the fast-casual sphere," said CEO Tony Avila. "We've worked the concept into our standard store design, and we intend to develop fast-casual locations for years to come."
- Healthy choices. Franchise restaurants are battling the public perception that they contribute to the American obesity epidemic by publishing nutritional information and offering healthier options and smaller portion sizes. VooDoo BBQ is working on an expanded menu with those concerns in mind, Avila said: "In 2013, our guests will have more portion size choices and information about our dishes."
- Affordable options. In the face of a still-sluggish economy, many restaurants are developing and promoting their more affordable menu options, as fast food has done with "dollar menus" to great effect. VooDoo BBQ is meeting guests' budget requirements by working on some lower-cost menu options the chain intends to unveil in 2013.
"We don't want anyone to decide not to eat at a VooDoo BBQ because their choices are too limited or expensive," Avila said. "We always want to honor what the market is telling us."
VooDoo BBQ & Grill opened its first location in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 57 planned locations in six states. VooDoo serves competition-style barbecue beef, pork and chicken with unique side dishes, plus salads and sandwiches, in a clean, colorful fast-casual environment. For more information, visit voodoobbq.com or voodoofranchise.com.