Restaurant Trends September 2023

US Quick-Service Sales & Traffic Performance

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


QSR Traffic Performance, August 2023

QSR US traffic is down -0.5% compared to August 2022, though slightly improved compared to the previous month.

Average price increased +7.0% YOY, but has steadily decreased month-over-month since July, confirming a pricing activity slowdown compared to 2022. RMS predicts that average price trends will stabilize as we approach the end of the year.

QSR Average Price Performance, August 2023

Breakdown of Monthly QSR Performance Trends

QSR Sales Decomp, August 2023

When compared to August 2022:

  • Net sales remain positive at +4.3% YOY.
  • Traffic is down -0.5% YOY. Sales continue to be driven by average check increases (+4.8% YOY).
  • QSR average price increased +7.0% YOY.
  • Quantity per transaction decreased -2.0% YOY, indicating that consumers are ordering fewer items to spend less.

QSR Revenue Channels

QSR Traffic Performance by Revenue Channel, August 2023
  • Despite possible service and fee costs, delivery is the top-performing channel, up +24.3% YOY.
  • Dine-in traffic increased +15.8% YOY.
  • Takeout (+11.5%) performed positively YOY.
  • Drive-thru traffic is down -6.5% 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

Consumers May Be Reaching Restaurant Menu Price Fatigue

Restaurant consumers are showing more signs of menu price fatigue. According to RMS performance trends, QSR Q2 traffic was down 1.8% YOY, while average price is up 10.6% YOY. See the latest on how consumer behavior is evolving and how major brands are responding to growing price sensitivity in Alicia Kelso’s latest article on Nation’s Restaurant News.

RMS is ready to support restaurant brands through ever-changing times. Reach out to us today for practical strategies to optimize your menu profitability, sales and financial health.

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