There is nothing more delightful than the aroma and taste of delicious food and the thrilling spectacle of new technology.

This insightful infographic highlights the top restaurant chains, people, trends and technologies shaping the fast casual segment in 2012. Among the top restaurant chains include the Chipotle Mexican Grill and Freshii.

The Chipotle experience includes mouthwatering burritos, burrito bowls, crispy tacos, soft tacos and salads that can be packed with cilantro-lime rice, pinto or vegetarian black beans, meat, guacamole, salsa and cheese or sour cream.

The Freshii experience is just as magnificent and can include a scrumptious rice bowl loaded with black beans, corn, sprouts, salsa, tofu, broccoli and carrots. Steve Ells and Matthew Corrin, the founders of Chipotle and Freshii, are among the top people shaping the fast casual segment.

Gluten-free foods and back-to-scratch cooking top the list of menu innovations dominating 2012. This is a reflection of the greater overall interest in healthy food options and more sustainable menu selections.

Coca-Cola freestyle, which gives operators the remarkable ability to provide 120-plus beverage choices, marks one of the top 10 technologies of the year.

Another phenomenal piece of technology is the PeopleMatter Platform, an integrated human resource software system that
allows employers to manage people, processes and paperwork online.

As far as the top trends are concerned, social media usage and mobile food ordering top the list.

Have you ever ordered food using your smartphone?

Please share!

2012 Fast Casual Top 100 [Infographic]
2012 Fast Casual Top 100 [Infographic]

Download the full Fast Casual Top 100
Compliments of FastCasual.com