Restaurant Trends January 2023

US Quick-Service Sales & Traffic Performance

QSR US Traffic is down 4.2% compared to Q4 2021 and slightly lower than in the previous quarter.

Average Price is up 16.2% YOY but has started to stabilize, with only a slight increase compared to Q3 2022. In Q4 2022, pricing activity, menu changes and promotional activities were the primary drivers of increases.

Breakdown of Quarterly QSR Trends

The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for Q4 2022.

When compared to Q4 2021:

  • Net sales remain positive at 6.1% and and flat compared to the previous quarter (+6.3%).
  • Sales continue to be fueled by average check increases (+10.7%), which are, in turn, driven mainly by average price. Quantity per transaction declined more sharply (-4.8%), indicating that more customers are managing their checks at a higher rate by reducing the number of items they purchase.
  • The Q4 2022 increases in QSR average price (+16.2) were driven by pricing activity, value platform changes and less profitable menu mix changes.

Daypart Trends

  • Overall daypart trends remain stable for lunch (-4.8%) and dinner (-2.1%). 
  • Breakfast performance declined sharply (-7.3%) in Q4 due to less promotional activity in 2022 compared to 2021.

Revenue Channels

  • Drive-thru year-over-year traffic is down -12.2% in Q4. However, performance has remained stable throughout 2022.
  • Dine-in performance (+31.1% YOY) stabilized again in Q4 and was the top-performing QSR channel in 2022.
  • Takeout (+22.1% YOY) continues to perform positively compared to last year and saw a slight increase from Q3 (+18%).
  • Delivery traffic remains positive YOY (+15.9%), but performance slightly declined compared to the previous quarter (+20.1%).

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

The State of Restaurants in 2023

The restaurant industry appears to be moving closer to normalcy after post-COVID challenges. FSR Magazine shared the state of the industry, citing RMS’s revenue channel trends and expressing tempered optimism about the year ahead.

Restaurant Reader Mailbag: Trends That Will Define the Year Ahead

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 QSR Magazine insights on how chains are moving beyond pricing to fight inflation, featuring advice from data experts at RMS.

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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