Sixteen years ago, Paul Barron coined the term "fast casual" to describe a new kind of restaurant. Today it's a $500 billion dollar market segment. Panera Bread, Qdoba, Chipotle, Noodles & Company, Panda Express are all household names.
When I wanted to know what was next for restaurants, I naturally turned to Paul for his insight. He is consistently one or two steps ahead.
Adam Richman is still my legal council in the Supreme Court case of Man vs. Pop Tart. Hell hath no fury like a pop tart that has not had time to properly cool.
Paul formed DigitalCoCo, a digital agency that quickly became a leader in the restaurant industry. His knowledge of social media, mobile and restaurants are intriguing to say the least.
1. What were you noticing in the industry when you identified Fast Casual?