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Industry Trends August 2022

US Quick-Service Trends

July QSR US traffic trends YOY align with previous months. Pricing activity rose to its highest since August 2020. Monthly average price jumped from 10.7% to 11.8%, but YOY trends are starting to level off.

Breakdown of Monthly QSR Trends

The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for July 2022.

When compared to July 2021:

  • Net sales YOY stayed positive at 4.1% in July 2022.
  • The increase in average check YOY (+8.8%) offset the decline in traffic trends YOY (-4.3%), resulting in the third consecutive month of positive net sales for the QSR segment.
  • QSR average price (+11.8%) is at its highest since 2020 and basket size is down by 2.7%. In our latest consumer survey, 50% of respondents reported they had visited a limited-service restaurant at least once in the past month. Of those, more than 1 in 3 stated that they went because of a special deal, indicating that customers want a QSR experience but are sensitive to price. To receive our exclusive consumer reports, subscribe to our mailing list.

Daypart Trends

When looking at the contribution to the overall traffic loss (-4.3%) and net sales (+4.1%):

  • Breakfast has remained relatively stable since the beginning of the year, reporting a slight traffic loss in July 2022 (-0.7%) and flat net sales (+0.3%).
  • While lunch (-2.2%) had a more significant contribution to the overall decline in traffic performance versus dinner (-1.4%), sales performance was comparable (+1.7% and +2.1% respectively), indicating better average check performance during these dayparts in July 2022.

Revenue Channels

Drive-thru traffic, down -8.4%, had the most significant impact on July traffic and sales losses. However, this month was an improvement after double-digit declines in the first quarter. Traffic and sales have returned to summer 2021 levels when many customers felt more comfortable returning to restaurants after mass vaccination efforts.

As habits slowly return to pre-pandemic levels, dine-in and takeout are positively contributing to QSR performance. Delivery continues to grow (+0.4% in traffic, +1.1% in net sales), representing approximately 5% of total net sales YTD.

As restaurants proceed with caution in the current inflationary environment, data-driven solutions based on specific guest patterns can help. Reach out today with questions. We’re here to help.

Consultant’s Corner

Higher Prices, Skimpier Portions and Apps — How Fast-Food Chains Are Changing Value Deals

With a shift from the value menu to more personalized deals using rewards programs, fast-food restaurants are rethinking how they can provide more value while maintaining profit margins. Read how chains move beyond pricing to fight inflation in CNBC‘s most recent article, featuring RMS’ Francois Acerra. Click here to read the article.

Consumer Dining Survey: Sales Inching Up; Basket Size Trending Down

In a recent article published by Modern Restaurant Management magazine, RMS CMO Jana Zschieschang shares insights on how operators can respond to shifting consumer behaviors. Access the story featuring RMS insights and industry trends here.


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

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