10-year history for 56 $1B+ chains including: (1) total units; (2) new units; (3) closures; (4) systemwide sales; and (5) system sales market share.
Despite the most difficult operating environment in the industry’s history, gross development increased +2.1%. This reflected the ability of certain QSR chains to leverage their post-lockdown competitive advantages into new development.
Projected 2021 gross new unit development of +2.7% is slightly above 2019’s +2.6% growth rate, but still represents a continuation of the longer-term trend of slowing development relative to the +3.8% 2014 peak.
Notably, 2021 development headwinds include ramping material costs (lumber CPI +74% YTD May 2021). We will monitor the level of impact this material cost headwind will have on the development pipeline.
2020 closure rates for the $1B+ chains were much more manageable (-3.7%) than expected because of QSR strength and because of government assistance for FSR.
The 2020 $1B+ chain systemwide sales outperformance (relative to the rest of the industry) reflects the clear benefit of scale which helps the national brands to excel around tech, access, and marketing.
Net/net, the $1B+ QSR Chains were able to recoup ~10 years of market share losses in 2020.