Restaurant Trends December 2022

US Quick-Service Trends

In November 2022, QSR US traffic decreased both year-over-year and month-over-month. Compared to November 2021, traffic is down -3.0%. Month-over-month traffic performance declined slightly compared to October (-2.6%).

Average price change has finally stabilized. In November 2022, the average price was +15% compared to November 2021, though it declined from last month (+15.8% YOY). With the holiday season beginning and 2022 ending, RMS will continue to monitor QSR traffic and pricing activity trends.

Breakdown of Monthly QSR Trends

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

When compared to November 2021:

  • Net sales remain positive, up +7.1% in November 2022 compared to November 2021.
  • Average check increased +10.4% YOY, offsetting a -3.0% decline in traffic trends YOY and resulting in continued positive net sales for the QSR segment in November.
  • QSR average price is at +15.0% YOY. Detailed analysis reveals that brands are taking price on both the main menu and value items.
  • Basket size decreased -4.0% YOY, suggesting customers are cutting back on overall restaurant spending. Customers reduced their basket size most during breakfast occasions (-6.8%) and when ordering delivery (-6.2%). Dine-in saw the slightest change, down just -1.7% YOY.
  • Inflation continues to affect purchasing behaviors across the industry. In our latest Q4 survey of 780 US consumers, 3 in 4 believe they are paying higher restaurant prices compared to 68% in Q2 2022. To receive the most up-to-date survey results, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list.

Daypart Trends

  • Breakfast traffic decreased by -7.4% YOY, a significant drop compared to last month when decreases were -1.8%. It should be noted that in November 2021, the daypart saw above-average increases (+9.6% YOY). RMS believes the daypart has stabilized at current levels.
  • Year-over-year lunch traffic remains down -3.9% YOY, but stable compared to the previous month (-3.8%).
  • Dinner traffic continues to outperform breakfast and lunch. November traffic remains slightly below November 2021 (-0.8%) but up from -1.2% last month.  

Revenue Channels

  • Among revenue channels, drive-thru had the worst performance. Year-over-year traffic is down -10.2%. However, month-over-month trends have remained stable since May 2022.
  • Dine-in performance remained strong in November (+29.6% YOY), though down compared to October 2022 (+37.1%).
  • Takeout (+20.6%) continues to perform positively compared to last year, but declined from October 2022 (+28%).
  • Delivery traffic remains positive YOY (+11.5%), but performance declined compared to previous months.

The current inflationary environment requires data-driven solutions laser-focused on individual locations and specific guest patterns. Reach out today with questions. We’re here to help.

Consultant’s Corner

Restaurants, Grocery Stores Battle Over Consumers’ Stretched Dollars

Restaurant brands and supermarkets are rethinking their strategies as consumers reduce spending. In today’s economy, value wins. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, featuring RMS insights, shows how brands adjust to evolving consumer behaviors.

Restaurant Patron Price Sensitivity Increasing

Is it possible to strike a balance between price and value? Yes, and it might be the answer to keeping your customers. In Modern Restaurant Management’s recent article, RMS’ CMO, Jana Zschieschang, shares the latest RMS insights on the price ceiling, Q3 consumer behavior, 2023 strategies for operators and more. 

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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