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Newk’s Eatery gets national notice as fast-casual brand

Chris Newcomb

Chris Newcomb

Mississippi-based Newk’s Eatery has extended its regional reach to 13 states but is growing its national profile at the same time, having recently won recognition from FastCasual.com as among the industry’s most significant brands.

The recognition came during the 2015 Fast Causal Top 100 gala at the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 show in Chicago.

Newk’s cause marketing program, Newk’s Cares, also won recognition, taking second place among the top 10 marketing campaigns of the year. The campaign raised more than $100,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and spread awareness through in-store signage and a cycling event in September 2014.

Newk’s rose to number 20 on FastCasual.com’s annual Top Movers and Shakers list. The list includes 75 brands and 25 marketing campaigns and trends, which were chosen from a pool of 900 nominations submitted by FastCasual.com readers. Brands are judged on criteria ranging from innovation, growth, social responsibility and overall contribution.

FastCasual.com attributed Newk’s rise in the ranking to its fundamentals, including aggressive growth and unit volumes well above industry average, and its leadership position in fast casual’s “second generation.”

With an offering that includes culinary-driven menus, scratch-made recipes and an open-view kitchen, along with the brand’s commitment to its community, Newk’s brings a new dining experience to guests, FastCausal.com said in a press release.

In nominating Newk’s, one franchisee noted: “I am a current owner of one store and am planning a second. My experience with this brand has far exceeded my expectations.”

Newk’s menu includes made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, California-style pizzas, hot toasted sandwiches, soups and desserts.

The eatery opened its first restaurant in Jackson in 2004 and now operates and franchises 79 units in 13 states.

FastCasual.com covers fast casual restaurants, which combine the speed of quick-service brands with an atmosphere and food quality typically associated with casual dining establishments.




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