Fast casual needs help, stat

Leaders convene in Charlotte to consider their options

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Thus far in The Food Section, I’ve written about independent restaurants, plain and fancy. But with Americans yearly spending close to $50 billion in fast casual restaurants, it would be silly to ignore chains when reporting on how and where people across the South eat. So when I learned fast casual brand officers were getting together in Charlotte, I registered to join them.

The rules have changed, speaker after speaker at last week’s Fast Casual Executive Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina told hundreds of attendees determined to sell more gussied-up burgers, chicken sandwiches, and customized pasta bowls.

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