A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 02, 2013
Fast Casual Restaurant

A “fast casual” restaurant is a hybrid of a fast food restaurant and a casual dining restaurant. Food is served fast, but menu items are more expensive (and often of a higher quality) than at fast food restaurants. Many “fast casual” establishments do not have a drive-through service window.

“Sea Shack is a fast, casual fish and chicken restaurant that happens to be beautiful” was cited in print in 1977. ZuZu, Inc. filed a trademark for “fast casual” on November 13, 1995. Arby’s used the “fast casual” term by at least January 1996.


Wikipedia: Fast casual restaurant
A fast casual restaurant is a type of restaurant that does not offer full table service, but promises a higher quality of food and atmosphere than a fast food restaurant. In the US, it is a relatively new and growing concept positioned between fast food and casual dining. The typical cost per meal is in the US$8–$15 range.

History
The Term ‘Fast Casual’ was created by Horatio Lonsdale-Hands in 1995, while serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ZuZu, Inc., which he co-founded in 1989.
(...)
On Monday, November 13, 1995, a U.S. Federal trademark registration was filed for Fast Casual by ZuZu, Inc. Dallas 75201. The USPTO has given the Fast Casual trademark serial number of 75017852.

Not wanting to limit the use of the term, for third parties, he coined for the industry, Lonsdale-Hands had ZuZu, Inc. abandon its application one year later.

2 March 1977, State-Times (Baton Rouge, LA), pg. 11-B, col. 4 ad:
Sea Shack is a fast, casual fish and chicken restaurant that happens to be beautiful.

Google Books
Encyclopedia of American Industries
Detroit, MI: Gale Research
1994 (The Google Books date is the earliest in this series and is probably incorrect—ed.)
Pg. 809:
Termed “fast-casual,” these eateries are dominated by bakery and deli-style restaurants that offer fresh-baked breads, a range of specialty sandwiches, and may include coffee or alcoholic beverage offerings. Fast-casual eateries are expanding rapidly, and operations reflect a healthy bottom line.

12 January 1996, The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, OH), “Arby’s shifts to a double” (Knight-Ridder Newspapers), pg. C5, col. 4:
Arby’s recently introduced its Roast Town concept, a larger upscale Arby’s eatery offering “fast-casual” food including main courses, side dishes and desserts.

3 April 2000, Rockford (IL) Register Star, “Bagel shops lose customers to higher-fat food stores,” pg. 4B, col. 6:
“We’re trying to broaden our appeal,” says Robert Hartnett, Noah/Einstein’s chief executive and former franchisee. “We fit into a category now that I call fast casual. We satisfy a variety of needs.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Casually Rising The fastest-growing segment in restaurants is called “fast casual,” which is wooing customers from both fast food and casual dining without spending big on marketing
Author: B Sperber
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Adweek L.P., c1992-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Brandweek. 43, Part 31 (September 2, 2002): 17-20
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
What do franchisees think of fast casual? Depends who you ask. Some see the future of foodservice. Others see a threat to their livelihoods
Author: S Amer
Publisher: [New York, Restaurant Business]
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Restaurant business. 101, Part 15 (September 15, 2002): 44-54
Database: ArticleFirst

NBCNews.com
Is ‘fast casual’ healthier than fast food?
Fare at specialty restaurants not necessarily better for you

By Karen Collins, R.D.
updated 6/18/2004 9:45:37 AM ET
Fast food can add a lot of calories, fat and sodium to your diet, if you choose carelessly. But now, a growing number of restaurants specialize in what can be called “fast food for adults.” These restaurants, dubbed “fast casual,” like Schlotzsky’s Deli, Baja Fresh, Panera and Au Bon Pain, offer the convenience of fast food for those who want take-out, as well as a comfortable eat-in section.

Eater.com
New York Town Bans ‘Fast Casual’ Restaurants
Tuesday, April 2, 2013, by Hillary Dixler
The town board of Eastchester, New York has banned “fast casual” chain restaurants like Panera, Cosi, and Quiznos. Changes to the zoning code of the Westchester County town will prohibit any restaurant with more than 15 locations nationwide from setting up shop, reports News 12 Westchester. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s were already prohibited under town laws, but chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts who already have locations in Eastchester will be grandfathered in under the new rules.

(Trademark)
Word Mark FAST CASUAL
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: restaurant services
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75017852
Filing Date November 13, 1995
Current Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) ZuZu, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 2651 N. Harwood, Suite 100 Dallas TEXAS 75201
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date October 2, 1996

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Tuesday, April 02, 2013 • Permalink