Restaurant Trends October 2023

US Quick-Service Sales & Traffic Performance

The following is a snapshot of US Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) trends for Q3 2023.


In Q3 2023, QSR US traffic decreased by -0.8% YOY compared to Q3 last year. Performance improved slightly compared to the previous quarter when traffic was down -1.8% YOY.

Q3 average price increased by +7.7% YOY. This is a decrease from last quarter (+10.6% YOY), confirming that pricing activity, while still higher than pre-COVID, continues to slow.

Average Price Trends for US Quick-Service Restaurants, Q3 2023

Breakdown of Quarterly QSR Performance Trends

Sales Decomp for US Quick-Service Restaurants, Q3 2023

When compared to Q3 2022:

  • Net sales remain positive at +5.2% YOY.
  • Traffic is down -0.8%. Sales continue to be driven by average check increases (+6.0% YOY).
  • QSR average price increased by +7.7% YOY.
  • Quantity per transaction decreased -1.5% YOY.

Q3 2023 QSR Traffic by Daypart

Daypart Trends for US Quick-Service Restaurants, Q3 2023
  • Dinner continues to outperform other dayparts. Traffic is up +2.1% YOY.
  • Breakfast performance is down -2.1% compared to Q3 last year. 
  • Lunch QSR traffic is down -3.9% YOY.

Q3 2023 QSR Traffic by Revenue Channel

Revenue Channel Trends for US Quick-Service Restaurants, Q3 2023
  • Despite possible service and fee costs, delivery is the top-performing QSR channel, up +22.2% YOY. Delivery performance saw an improvement compared to the previous quarter when traffic was at 14.8% YOY.
  • Dine-in traffic increased +14.5% YOY.
  • Takeout (+12.7%) performed positively YOY.
  • Drive-thru traffic is down -6.8% YOY.

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

For Restaurants and Loyalty, It’s Now a Race to the Top

Revenue Management Solutions’ insights revealed that today’s customers spend and order less at QSR restaurants. To counter this, brands are introducing digital loyalty programs to nurture more meaningful and lasting relationships with guests. QSR Magazine‘s Danny Klein shared RMS’ data on how customer behavior has shifted since 2019 and the impactful role of loyalty programs in driving traffic, building trust and enhancing brand value.

Revenue Management Solutions, iMotions Partner to Unlock Revenue Opportunities through Menu Optimization

RMS announced the expansion of a partnership with iMotions, the world’s leading software platform studying the drivers behind human behavior, to revolutionize menu engineering and boost revenue for restaurant brands.

Together, we will help restaurants better understand how guests view online menus and the factors influencing their ordering behavior. Learn more about our partnership and how menu optimization can reshape your restaurant’s profitability.

RMS is ready to support restaurant brands across the world. Reach out to us today for practical strategies to optimize your menu profitability, sales and financial success.

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