has named BurgerFi as the top brand in its annual list of Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers, recognizing the industry’s most innovative brands.

After seven straight years of being named to Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers, BurgerFi took the No.1 spot on the 2021 list.

The Florida-based brand’s continuous innovation and rapid growth impressed all of the judges, said Cherryh Cansler, the editor of FastCasual, who hosted a virtual awards gala Wednesday afternoon to reveal the entire list of winning brands. Steritech President Doug Sutton joined her as co-host.

“Even with COVID-19 hitting everyone so hard, BurgerFi’s leaders didn’t didn’t shy away from innovation,” she said. “They added curbside pickup ordering, a new kitchen prototype design with dual assembly lines and its first drive-thru as well as 10 ghost kitchens. They even landed Martha Stewart as a board member and went public. Any of those things alone would have been a huge accomplishment, but to do them all in one year is amazing.”

BurgerFi CEO Julio Ramirez accepted the award, saying he was thankful to his team members who have worked hard even through the pandemic.

“We are incredibly proud of this milestone and know the best is yet to come,” he said.

How The Top 100 works
Since its creation 16 years ago, the Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list has recognized the industry’s most successful brands, but that doesn’t always mean the most profitable or fastest-growing brands, according to Cansler, who said the publication received hundreds of nominations this year.

“Winning qualities also include innovation, leadership and resilience,” she said. “And that last quality — resilience — has never been more important than in this past year as the global pandemic forced companies to change everything from their operating models and menus to store layouts and labor plans, while still managing to take care of the people in their communities.”

As in past years, the Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers recognizes the industry’s top 75 brands and 25 executives. Nominations for the annual list open in December, and winners usually attend an in-person awards gala coinciding with the National Restaurant Association’s annual show. The pandemic, however, forced this year’s event to be virtual.

Watch the gala and download the free report, sponsored by Givex, to find out who made the list.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the tech, banking, retail and food service industries. Online properties include,,,,,,,, and Annual events include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, the Bank Customer Experience Summit (BCX), the Interactive Customer Experience Summit (ICX) and the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

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