Restaurant Trends November 2022
US Quick-Service Trends
QSR US traffic is down 2.6% when compared to October 2021. Regarding month-over-month traffic performance, trends saw a slight decline compared to September (-1.7%).
Pricing activity increased again. Year-over-year, average price increased by 15.8% and is up slightly from September 2022 (15.6%). However, pricing activity has stabilized over the past three months after a steep climb over the summer. RMS will continue tracking QSR traffic and pricing activity trends as we head into the holiday season.
Breakdown of Monthly QSR Trends
The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for October 2022.
When compared to October 2021:
- Net sales remain positive, up 7.6% in October 2022 compared to October 2021.
- A 10.5% increase in average check YOY offset a -2.6% decline in traffic trends YOY, resulting in continued positive net sales for the QSR segment in October.
- QSR average price increased by 15.8%. Detailed analysis reveals that the surge is due to brands taking price not only on the main menu, but on value items as well.
- Basket size decreased by -4.6%, suggesting customers are cutting back on their overall restaurant spending.
- To better identify the impact of price increases on overall sales performance, RMS analyzed in-store price increases by percentages year-over-year (Q2 2022 vs. Q2 2021) for 25,000 QSR locations in the US across numerous brands. Our findings confirmed that when price increases surpass 10%-13%, customers start to “trade out,” reflected in steep traffic declines. For more information on how to address traffic loss, click here.
- Breakfast traffic saw a slight increase compared to the previous month and stands at -1.8% compared to October 2021.
- Lunch traffic remains down -3.8% YOY, but remained stable compared to the previous month (-3.5%, September 2022).
- After entering positive territory in September 2022, QSR dinner traffic dropped to -1.2% YOY, though it continues to show the most positive growth among dayparts.
- Drive-thru continues to show the weakest performance among all revenue channels, with year-over-year traffic down -11.3%. While traffic is down considerably compared to late 2021, when mass vaccination efforts created a surge in restaurant visits, it has stabilized month over month, though down slightly from September 2022 (-10.3%)
- Dine-in performance remained strong in October (+37.1% YOY), though down slightly compared to September 2022.
- Takeout (+28%) is still performing positively.
- Delivery traffic remains positive YOY (+12.9%), but continues to slow down compared to previous months.
Consumers Are Sending a Mixed Signal on Their Discretionary Spending
Can we anticipate when restaurant customers will say “enough is enough” regarding menu price increases? We do now, thanks to our recent analysis to determine a restaurant price ceiling. For more on this and how consumers manage discretionary spending, read Nation’s Restaurant News‘ recent article featuring RMS insights.