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Restaurant Brands Breaking Out in 2023

According to Lisa M. Amos, “Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Sometimes, the inspiration we need to forge ahead is found in a few words of wisdom. Other times, we look to those who have persevered and succeeded. What ideas or implementations set them apart from the crowd? Why were they the cream that rose to the top?

To provide you with some inspiration, we’re sharing some of the top emerging brands in 2023 that demonstrate huge growth potential. Let’s explore what they have in common and the lessons we can derive from their achievements. 

Daddy’s Chicken Shack

QSR first reported on this incredible startup story that began in November 2018. Pace Webb and Chris Georgalas started their “restaurant” in Pasadena, CA. They’d found the 700-square-foot space on Craigslist. It had no seating, parking, or bathroom.

The end of 2022 saw them sign their seventh regional development deal. Today, they have eight franchise agreements in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, and Texas, and 120 units in development. 


This restaurant has a simple and heartfelt mission: sustainability. Founded by Michael Chernow and Jay Wainwright, they only serve sustainably caught and farmed seafood, and their wild seafood is caught 24-48 hours before it reaches your plate. According to NRN, the first location opened in June 2015.

It’s clear why this is the brand to watch. With sustainability and eco-friendly practices on the top of the list for the younger generations, a restaurant committed to innovative farms and stable stocks is sure to be a hit. Seamore’s currently consists of seven locations, with the eighth unit opening in Darien, CT.

Tacos 4 Life

In 2014, Tacos 4 Life also started with a bigger-than-life mission in Conway, AR: ending world hunger. It began with knowledge when founders Ashton and Austin Samuelson discovered that over 18,000 children die every day due to hunger-related causes. For every taco, bowl, salad, quesadilla, or nachos purchased, $0.24 is denoted to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), the brand’s nonprofit partner. 

Today, the brand has 19 taco restaurants in five states and has provided over 26.5 million meals to children around the world in partnership with FMSC. Tacos 4 Life is expanding through franchise partnerships.


Interestingly, Kitava is a health-conscious brand based on a scientific study. NRN spoke with the founder, Bryan Tublin, who referred to the Kitava study. The study was conducted in the Pacific islands of Papua New Guinea by a dermatologist who found no signs of acne, skin disorders, or the common chronic illnesses seen in the West. 

The menu is based partly on these findings and includes a healthy dose of organic veggies, mindful proteins, and healthy fats. What you won’t find on the menu is refined sugar, seed oils, gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, or corn.

Tublin began his journey by selling meals at farmer’s markets, followed by a pop-up in Oakland. Today, they have two brick-and-mortar locations, one in Oakland and the other in San Francisco, as well as a takeout and delivery location operating in Los Angeles.

Finding Your Way

Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” It’s the ones who see trials as blessings and adversity as strengthening. You can be sure all these brands had hurdles to cross, but pressed forward, ultimately finding success.

At EMERGING, we work with emerging restaurant brands and entertainment concepts, helping them expand through strategic planning. As a strategic partner, we provide support in streamlining the supply chain and reducing costs, monetizing sales data and increasing profits, connecting restaurants with investors, and analyzing data to effectively evaluate real estate opportunities across the country. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact EMERGING today. 


What is the fastest-growing restaurant segment today? 

According to Investopedia, some of the fastest-growing restaurant chains are Mod Pizza, First Watch, Shake Shack, Lazy Dog, and The Habit Burger Grill.

What are the future menus for 2023?

According to Unilever Food Solutions’ Future Menu Trends report 2023, the top trends include mindful proteins, vegetable-forward, modern comfort food, sharing, and flavor contrasts.

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