Restaurant Trends January 2024

The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for Q4 2023.

Overview

QSR Year-Over-Year Traffic Performance, Q4 2023

QSR US traffic is down -1.7% compared to Q4 2022. Performance decreased slightly from the previous quarter (-0.8% YOY).

Average price increased +4.5% YOY. When looking at recent quarters, however, the rate of price increases is declining. Revenue Management Solutions (RMS) expects this trend to continue in 2024 as customers are showing signs of sensitivity.

According to RMS’ latest consumer report, over two-thirds of respondents feel they are paying higher restaurant prices compared to just a month ago. Restaurants will continue to be challenged to balance profitability and customer satisfaction.

QSR Year-Over-Year Average Price Performance, Q4 2023

Breakdown of Quarterly QSR Performance Trends

QSR Sales Decomp, Q4 2023

When compared to Q4 2022:

  • Net sales remain positive at +2.5% YOY.
  • Traffic is down -1.7% YOY. Sales continue to be driven by average check increases (+4.3% YOY).
  • QSR average price increased +4.5% YOY.
  • Quantity per transaction (QPT) is slightly down, at -0.3% YOY. It is worth noting that QPT has remained negative throughout 2023 and in 2022, suggesting transaction quantity has found a new normal at lower levels than pre-pandemic.

In today’s dynamic restaurant landscape, staying ahead demands precision. Explore RMS’ additional resources or reach out to us to learn more about how our data-driven solutions can help your business.

Q4 2023 QSR Traffic by Daypart Channels

QSR Year-Over-Year Traffic Performance by Dayparts, Q4 2023
  • Dinner continues as QSR’s best-performing daypart. Traffic is up (0.6%) compared to Q4 2022.
  • Lunch QSR traffic is down -3.3% YOY and decreased slightly compared to the previous quarter.
  • Breakfast traffic is down -3.3% YOY. Breakfast performance slightly increased when compared to the previous quarter.

Q4 2023 QSR Traffic by Revenue Channels

QSR Year-Over-Year Traffic Performance by Revenue Channel, Q4 2023
  • Delivery remains the top-performing channel, with traffic up 14.0% YOY.
  • Takeout (+8.6%) performed positively YOY.
  • Dine-in traffic is up +4.1% YOY. However, performance steadily decreased in 2023.
  • Drive-thru traffic is down -7.1% YOY, though performance remained stable throughout 2023.

Consultant’s Corner

Where Does Restaurant Pricing Land in 2024?

As we enter 2024, the restaurant industry grapples with a pressing question: what to do about menu pricing? According to RMS, QSR traffic trends are down almost 20% from 2019.

In response to customers becoming more price sensitive, RMS’ Richard Delvallée suggests surgical pricing strategies that incorporate purchasing patterns and bundling preferences, along with technology. Learn more about how restaurants can tackle pricing in 2024 in the latest article by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Unlock QSR Success with RMS

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