Industry Trends June 2022
US Quick-Service Trends
Breakdown of Monthly QSR Trends
The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for May 2022.
When compared to May 2021:
- QSR net sales are up 3.4% YOY, positive news for operators after seeing negative sales results in April 2022 (-2.9%).
- Traffic was down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2021. However, traffic is improving month-over-month. In April 2022, we reported QSR traffic trends down by -9.4%. We believe the gap is closing for two reasons: (1) consumers are eating out more frequently and (2) traffic spiked in April and May 2021 due to pent-up restaurant demand and easing of COVID restrictions.
- Average check was up 7.8% compared to May 2021 and continues to drive net sales. In addition, average net price was up 11.8% in May 2022 compared to last year, while basket size was down -3.6%.
- Lunch and dinner traffic are both declining compared to May 2021. Lunch is down -2.0% and dinner -1.8%. However, both dayparts saw an approximate 1% increase over last month.
- Breakfast traffic returned to the positive traffic trends we observed throughout 2021 and Q1 2022. Traffic increased 0.2% YOY, following a sizable drop in April (-2.9% YOY). We will continue monitoring breakfast to determine the effects of back-to-office and other post-pandemic trends.
Consumers Continue to Control Their Spend
Digging deeper into sales, higher prices (+11.8% YOY) continue to drive increases in check performance. Basket sizes remained on a steady decline, down -3.6% compared to May 2021, likely due to the current inflationary environment. Compared to last month’s report, quantity per transaction decreased by 1.6%.
Shrinking basket size and slowing traffic are consistent with reported consumer behavior. In our Q1 consumer report, 37% of respondents reported spending less of their disposable income on restaurants than last year. In addition, when asked how they were spending less, 1 in 3 reported trade-down behaviors, with 34% ordering less expensive items and 30% opting for less expensive restaurants.
A Slight Comeback for Dine-in
The star of May was dine-in. The channel contributed a positive 3.1% to overall QSR traffic compared to last year. Dine-in now represents 10.4% of average daily traffic (up from 6.9% last year).
Drive-thru performance contributes significantly to the decline in overall traffic performance. May performance slightly improved, with decreases of -9.9% YOY compared to -12.5% in April.
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.
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