New Fast Casual Industry Council to Serve as Model for Future National Restaurant Association Industry Councils

Fast casual group to advise Association on segment-specific issues
Washington, D.C.  (  The recently-launched Fast Casual Industry Council is the first of its kind within the National Restaurant Association’s structure, and will serve as a model for the development of similar groups in the future. Instituting this new structure of industry councils highlights the diversity of the Association’s membership, and will help the organization better address the unique issues of specific restaurant industry segments.

“The National Restaurant Association’s new industry council structure will be greatly beneficial for our members and the industry at large,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  “One of the restaurant industry’s many strengths is its diversity. We are planning to expand the industry council concept to additional segments for a fuller understanding of the industry mosaic, and the Fast Casual Industry Council will help pave the way to successful implementation.” 

“We are very excited to continue our work with the National Restaurant Association, and look forward to advancing the fast casual restaurant segment together,” Louis Basile, Fast Casual Industry Council Steering Committee Chair, and President and CEO of Wildflower Bread Company. “It is critical to address issues that are unique to our restaurants and through the Fast Casual Industry Council, we have a great opportunity to do that.”

The Fast Casual Council’s goal is to convene senior executives from the fast casual restaurants nationwide to discuss common concerns and advise the National Restaurant Association on how the overall industry’s priority issues would impact fast casual restaurants. In addition, the group will serve as a networking and educational venue, as well as provide input on research, segment definition and member benefit program development. The group will convene bi-annually.

Members of the Fast Casual Industry Council, formerly known as the Fast Casual Alliance, will participate in the Association’s public policy development, have access to a members-only listserv to exchange best practices and interact with peers, and receive Association research, in addition to many other member benefits.

Fast casual is a relatively new and growing field that fits between traditional quickservice and casual dining concepts. Fast casual restaurants feature limited service or self-service, average checks between $8 and $15, made-to-order food, and upscale décor.

For more information on the NRA’s Fast Casual Industry Council, visit

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve.