RR’s Menu & Promotions analysis provides data for 56 chains (33 QSR and 23 FSR) including: (1) a 6-year history of total menu items (2015 – May 2020); (2) promotional mix by quarter; (3) new product intros; (4) average check; (5) daypart sales mix; (6) digital & off-premise sales mix; (7) menu category mix; and (8) monthly new product calendar.
After years of gradual menu optimization and tech investments to simplify operations, the recent lockdowns and dine-in restrictions acted to accelerate these efforts.
To this end, the average menu size contracted dramatically (-16.5%% for FSR and -3.3% for QSR) while off-premise sales mix has more than doubled for many FSR chains between year-end 2019 and May 2020. This data is derived from online menu counts but individual operators may have reduced their menus even further.
New product intros (which had been stable for QSR over the last several years but declining for FSR) also declined sharply YTD 5/20 (-25% for QSR and -19.2% for FSR) as chains pivoted towards family bundled deals and free delivery as opposed to new products.
2019 average check growth moderated for QSR (+2.5%) but accelerated for FSR (+2.7%). QSR checks have increased +20% in 2020 due to larger family bundles.
The Food at Home CPI continues to edge higher (+0.9% in 2019 and +2.3% YTD 5/20), narrowing the price gap between restaurants and grocery stores.