Restaurant Trends March 2023

US Quick-Service Sales & Traffic Performance

QSR US traffic (-0.3% YOY) is slightly down compared to last year, when QSRs saw traffic climb drastically as the spread of the Omicron variant slowed. We expect traffic to stabilize going forward.  

Average price flattened, up 14.0% YOY compared to last month’s +13.7%. We anticipate further stability as we compare against the bullish price increases of 2022.  

QSR Average Price Performance, Feb 2023

Breakdown of Monthly QSR Trends

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

QSR Sales Decomp, Feb 2023

When compared to February 2022:

  • Net sales remain positive at 8.2% YOY.
  • Traffic is down -0.3%. Sales continue to be fueled by average check increases (+8.5% YOY).
  • Quantity per transaction declined (-4.9% YOY), indicating that customers are reducing the number of items they purchase in order to spend less.
  • QSR average price increased by 14.0% YOY.

Daypart Trends

QSR Daypart Trends, March 2023
  • Dinner continues to outperform other dayparts. Traffic is up + 2.2% YOY.
  • Breakfast performance is down -1.4% compared to last year, and lunch traffic numbers are down -1.8% YOY.

Revenue Channels

QSR Revenue Channel Trends, March 2023
  • Dine-in (+29.8% YOY) was the top-performing QSR channel in February 2023. When comparing month-over-month, February was down significantly from January 2023 (+48.7 %) primarily due to the comparison to February 2022, when customers started leaving their homes as COVID-19 cases began to decrease. We will continue to review volatility carefully, but anticipate stabilization as the year progresses.
  • Takeout (+27.5% YOY) continues to perform positively compared to last year.
  • Customers continue to value the convenience of delivery, despite potential service and fee costs. The channel is up 20.8% YOY.
  • Drive-thru year-over-year traffic is down -8.7%.

A volatile, inflationary environment requires highly focused, data-driven solutions. Access RMS’ additional resources or reach out today with questions. We’re here to help.

Consultant’s Corner

Five Ways to Capture Frequent Users in a Tightening Economy

According to new consumer data from Revenue Management Solutions, those who frequent restaurants more than 10x a week are twice as likely to increase their usage in the future. Jana Zschieschang, RMS CMO, shared with Modern Restaurant Management actionable ways operators can nurture frequent users and grow their overall guest count despite the tightening economy.

Food Costs Are Down, but So Are Sales

The post-pandemic landscape is posing a new set of challenges for restaurants. CNN Business provides an overview of the state of the industry with crucial data findings featuring RMS insights.

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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