Expanding Restaurants Signal the Next Wave of Trends for Full-Service Eateries

FSR Magazine released is annual list of 50 emerging full-service restaurant chains poised for growth in the coming years. The list is limited to chains with 50 or fewer locations and includes relatively new brands with eyes on a national presence along with longtime regional names that have plans to expand into new markets. For foodservice equipment distributors, the list is a glimpse into the customers they may find themselves serving soon, as well as the culinary trends—like the Impossible Burger—that are exciting diners.

To read FSR’s full list of the Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Chains, click here. A partial list of the emerging restaurants is below.

RARE Steakhouse
After establishing itself as one of the best places to get a steak in Madison, Wis., RARE Steakhouse took its premier dining experience to Milwaukee and Washington D.C. by opening new locations in both cities. The company plans to expand again in 2019 with two new restaurants.

Thirst Lion Gastropub & Grill
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill specializes in mixing regional dishes with high-quality bar fare. The brand currently has eight locations in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Texas and plans to open three more next year.

b Restaurants
The first b Restaurant opened in 2006 with a vision of creating local food using local ingredients that would be served alongside bourbon and beer. The company now has nine restaurants in Connecticut, Virginia, and Washington D.C. and is ready to take the next step by opening another two locations in 2019.

With 47 units already in operation, Bareburger is the largest chain on this year FSR’s top emerging restaurants list. The brand prides itself on working closely with farmers to create a menu of clean, sustainably-sourced comfort food. Mostly concentrated in New York, Bareburger has already branched out to California, Ohio, and Georgia, and plans to open 10 more locations in 2019.

Serving up the promise of upscale dining at a modest price, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill’s contemporary take on classic dishes such as steak frites and American Kobe beef meatloaf has made it a popular choice for diners across the country. The chain now has 45 restaurants—including four new locations in 2018—and plans to open another six next year.