Emerging Restaurant Chains Report

Profiles of Silver Diner, Earl's Kitchen + Bar, and The Cowfish.

In the highly competitive restaurant industry, votes are cast in dollars and diner loyalty. Winning a guest for a one-time meal doesn’t position a brand for success; instead, chefs and operators have to create meaningful dining-out experiences with menus and hospitality that encourage guests to return frequently and regularly.

Silver Diner has done just that, with some guests visiting its locations multiple times each week. The reason for its success is a reinvention of the menu around fresh, sustainable, healthy ingredients. How to lose weight and eat healthier has become a national obsession, and Silver Diner co-founder and chef Ype Von Hengst explains the strategy and steps taken to cut calories without compromising flavor or quality.

While pancakes and all-day breakfast service remain favorites at Silver Diner, the new and improved menu features healthy twists on American favorites, like meatloaf made from all grass-fed, Angus beef.

Another fast-growing restaurant brand that features a made-from-scratch, upscale menu recently immigrated to the U.S. from Canada. Earls Kitchen + Bar has localized its menus and its sourcing to each market it enters, going so far as to deploy foodie experts who forage for local ingredients in advance of opening new locations.

The Cowfish rounds out the FSR trilogy of emerging concepts to follow, with a creative menu that focuses on burgers, sushi, and—in a testament to true food innovation—the restaurant’s own burgushi creations.