March 29, 2022

QSR 40/40 List of Hottest Fast-Casual Concepts


Balance Pan Asian Grille, the rising leader in Asian-fusion fast-casual, was recently named to the QSR magazine 40/40 List for 2022, recognizing it as one of the country’s hottest startup fast casuals.

The quick-service industry’s leading trade publication, which has released the list since 2017, took into account growth potential, strong operations, and a commitment to quality and culture that sets the bar sector-wide. This year’s concepts not only weathered another pandemic year, they emerged stronger on the other side.

Balance Grille was recognized for its focus on clean eating and menu transparency as well as its ahead-of-the-curve tech integration and success throughout the Covid pandemic,  positioning itself as a differentiator in the Asian fusion fast-casual category as it pivots to growth mode. 

“2021 was perhaps even more dynamic than 2020, in terms of how it shaped the future of fast casual,” QSR editor Danny Klein says. “While the category had a steep hill to climb at COVID’s onset, it didn’t take long for innovative and forward-thinking brands to deliver the experience, technology, and product consumers wanted. What’s left is perhaps the most resilient group on record, and one we believe will thrive for years to come.”

For the last decade, fast-casual restaurants have sprung up all around the U.S. serving high-quality food in a casual setting, pushing the envelope on what is possible in a counter-service format. And since 2017, QSR magazine has recognized those emerging concepts with the 40/40 List, a report on 40 exciting fast-casual brands with fewer than 40 locations. Visit QSR Magazine for the full 40/40 list.