Chicago-based Wow Bao has topped the 2022 list of Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers, making history as the first brand to ever win the honor twice. It was also the 2019 winner.

“This list is all about innovation and leadership, and the judges were impressed by the business model developed by CEO Geoff Alexander, which took the brand from just a few brick-and-mortar locations to over 600 virtual locations,” said Cherryh Cansler, editor of Fast Casual, and hostess of the Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers Gala held Sunday night in Chicago to honor the industry’s top 75 brands and 25 executives.

The idea not only helped Wow Bao expand its own footprint but also gave restaurant brands all over the U.S. access to another revenue stream by allowing them to serve a limited menu of its Bao, bowls and dumplings, an important concept, especially during the pandemic.

“We believe that every kitchen can be a third-party kitchen for Wow Bao,” said Alexander, who also made the list of the Top 25 executives.

Before helping Cansler count down the winning brands from 75 to No. 1 at the gala, Alex Myrick of Steritech, revealed the winner of this year’s Excellence in Food Safety AwardWingstop.

Wingstop Chief People Officer Donnie Upshaw, who also made the Top 25 Executive list, accepted the award on behalf of the 1,700-unit. Five Guys and Taco Bell earned honorable mention.

Steritech and FastCasual also worked together to create the “2022 Excellence in Food Safety” report, which recognized restaurants that are providing outstanding food safety. The report also includes information to help brands nail food-safety protocols. Download it for free here.

To read about all the winners, download a free copy of the 2022 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers, sponsored by Givex.

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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