We all know the drill: Get in line, read the big menu board, shuffle along the counter pointing at toppings and condiments, pay at the end and grab our food. Or maybe we just pick from lists of ingredients or lunch styles -- the wrap, the bowl, the sandwich -- and take a number to a table until a clerk in an Easter-egg-colored shirt seeks us out or hollers our number. Fast-casual (or the preferred "quick-casual," to remove associations with fast food) was the fastest-growing sector of the restaurant industry last year, according to a recent article by investment strategy website the Motley Fool . So what's the appeal? Is it marketing strategy designed to appeal to our health-conscious lifestyles, or is it just the most bang for the buck? And how are a new generation of quick-casual eateries luring us to spend our money?
Remember when these guys were new and nobody thought they would make it?