Macaroni Grill Now Offering Counter-Service Lunch

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is taking a bite out of Chipotle’s book and offering a fast-casual concept
Macaroni Grill Now Offering Counter-Service Lunch

Mama Mia! Fast Italian for lunch.

Fast-casual king of the moderately priced food scene right now, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill is catching on to that concept. The Macaroni Grill recently opened up its fast-casual lunch project called Romano’s Kitchen Counter at 131 locations across the country. Customers can now order an Italian counter-service-style lunch in “7 minutes or less, or it’s free.”

Menu items include a chicken Milanese panzanella salad (Tuscan-style bread salad), pepperoni calzone, Italian pulled pork sandwich, spaghetti bolognese, and baked ravioli. You can get anything on the menu for $7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the menu changes on a regular basis.

The express kitchen will actually be inside the Macaroni Grill itself, and will not be separate.

“Essentially, what we are doing is taking one of the next-wave casual-dining brands from 26 years ago and taking it to what we think is a head-of-the-class of the fast-casual movement,” said John Gilbert, president of Macaroni Grill in a statement. “It’s a fast casual inside a Macaroni Grill. It looks and works just like any of the popular fast-casual restaurants.”

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi