Table manners: easier to teach at table QUIT THE CUP HOLDER: trade the car for the dinner table tonight REAL MEAL TIP: Sip. Don’t gulp. I believe that fast doesn’t have to mean fried and tasteless. I believe that not all food needs to be drowned in ketchup to taste better. I believe just because it’s soccer season doesn’t mean it’s deep fried season. I believe life should be less overdone and more, shall we say, al dente.
These phrases sound like messaging from an educational organization promoting nutrition and healthy eating. But no, they are among the slogans printed on the paper cups used for drinks at Fazoli’s, a “fast casual” restaurant chain with the tagline: “fast. fresh. italian.” And yes, in the complex world of food in 21st century America, the popular concepts of “fresh,” “real,” “dinner table,” and “slow”—not not typically associated with fast food—can find a home in a such a restaurant chain.
The first Fazoli’s was established in 1988, in Lexington, Kentu
cky, and in the 1990s the chain developed its mission to “Serve America premium quality Italian food, fast, fresh, & friendly.” The “fast casual” segment in the restaurant industry, positioned between fast food drive-ins and casual dining restaurants, gained momentum in the 2000s. Known for providing customized, freshly prepared food in a slightly more upscale environment than fast food chains, “fast casual” places generally do not offer a drive-thru option. As of 2013, Fazoli’s operated 217 restaurants in 26 states. This paper cup was collected from the restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina.