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Industry Trends August 2021

RMS remains committed to providing our industry with insights that will guide us into and through “new,” “next” and better.

Efficiency Is the Top Driver of Combo Meal Purchases

Combo meals have played an important role in quick-service restaurants (QSR). According to RMS July observations, on average, combo meals make up almost 35% of the menu mix across the industry, indicating that this category has been a big component in pandemic sales. To get a better understanding of why certain customers choose combo meals as their go-to purchase, RMS surveyed more than 800 US respondents.

Overall, 65% of respondents purchased a combo meal from a QSR in the past month.

Of those who purchased a combo meal in the past month, 47% have a household income between $30k-$74k and are predominantly millennial family households.

RMS asked respondents why they choose combo meals and identified three common themes from the open-ended responses:

  • 39% referenced efficiency, including speed and ease of ordering
  • 38% referenced economics, including value and affordability
  • 34% referenced product preferences, including favorite products all in a full meal

For a look at the identified subthemes, download the full report.

Operators May Have More Pricing Leverage

Based on the results of our survey, we see that consumers are buying combo meals for speed, ease and convenience. In other words, combo meals offer more than just value.

As a result, consumers may tolerate lower discounts than those traditionally offered – about  20%. Operators must keep in mind that combo meal prices should never exceed the sum of their parts, however, today’s market may tolerate prices close to the ceiling.

To access all consumer reports, visit our Consumer Reports page. If you would like to be notified when new reports are released, join our mailing list.

Guest-centric and brand-supporting pricing strategies are our specialty. Contact us today to create a plan that is tailored to your business.

Consultant’s Corner

Did The Pandemic End The Plant-Based Momentum For Restaurants?

Forbes senior contributor Alicia Kelso says it depends on who you ask. Take a look at her thoughts on the future of plant-based products in the restaurant industry featuring insights from RMS.

Chipotle Stock Hits a Record as Customers Return to Dining

The Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon explores Chipotle Mexican Grill’s successful sales growth featuring insights from industry leaders, including RMS.

RMS stands ready to support restaurant brands through these ever-changing times. Reach out to us today for practical strategies designed to optimize menu profitability, sales and financial health immediately.

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