The rapid growth of Five Guys Burgers & Fries and other high-end burger joints is due in large part to recession-era trade-downs by guests who in better days would have opted for steak, says Technomic's Darren Tristano. The popularity of the new breed of chains has spurred established quickservice chains including McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King to shift to higher-quality beef and other ingredients, he says.

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