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U.S. Restaurant Count Continues Slide

U.S. Restaurant Count Continues Slide

The total number of U.S. restaurants continues to decline because of continuing losses of independent locations. But independent burger-menu quick-service shops are accounting for very little of that decline. The Spring 2016 census from The NPD Group finds a 1% drop in the U.S. restaurant count to 624,301, compared with the spring 2015 census. Chain […]

Are Price Hikes Killing Lunch?

Are Price Hikes Killing Lunch?

Menu-price increases are eating restaurants’ lunch. Data from The NPD Group find that lunch, which accounts for 33% of foodservice traffic, has been losing customers for two quarters. The damage to the business is largely self-inflicted: NPD says consumers are being priced out of lunch, especially in fast-casual concepts. For the quarter ended in June, […]

Food-Away Spending Up; Visits Flat

Food-Away Spending Up; Visits Flat

Consumer expenditures on food-away-from-home rose 7.9% in 2015 (to $3,008), compared with just a 1.1% rise in spending on food-at home, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. We know from chain quarterly reports that much of that increase came from higher menu prices, but, still, dining-out dollars accounted for a greater percentage […]

What College Students Want From QSRs

What College Students Want From QSRs

This fall, about 20.5 million students will be enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, where they will encounter sophisticated and diverse campus foodservice options. Of course, that won’t keep them from occasionally visiting off-campus restaurants, where they’ll have strong expectations about taste, price and quality. A new study of college-student eating habits and expectations conducted […]

Nomura Sees McD’s Comp Sales Fading

Nomura Sees McD’s Comp Sales Fading

Nomura restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski maintains both his Neutral rating of McDonald’s Corp. stock and his forecast for the chain’s Q2 same-store sales, which will be reported next week. But Q3 and Q4 likely will be more difficult, and the Grand Mac and Mac Jr. burgers aren’t likely to go national before early 2017, according […]

McDonald’s Tests Sriracha Big Mac Sauce

McDonald’s Tests Sriracha Big Mac Sauce

McDonald’s hasn’t finished testing new ideas in San Diego. The latest is the addition of a “Signature Sriracha” flavor package with the Signature Crafted Recipes menu it began testing in February. These are burgers customers can customize with one of several flavor/toppings packages. Ask for a Signature Sriracha burger and you get new Sriracha Big […]

NPD: Discounting Not Increasing Visits

NPD: Discounting Not Increasing Visits

Consumer restaurant traffic was flat in Q1, but restaurant visits on deal were up twice that rate overall and up 3% for quick-service restaurants, according to The NPD Group. A significant driver in that “deal” traffic has been the discount competition among QSR burger chains, especially McDonald’s heavily marketed McPick 2 for $2 or $5, […]

Deconstructing the All-American Burger

Deconstructing the All-American Burger

The average American restaurant burger is a $10.50 pre-formed, 8-oz. ground-chuck patty with American cheese, tomato, bacon and ketchup served on a brioche bun with fries on the side. That’s the picture painted by ground-beef purveyor Schweid & Sons’ 2016 Burger Trends Report. The survey is based on operations data from more than 100 Schweid […]

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