• Total 2021 net marketing spend for the $1B+ Chain restaurants increased +8.9% y/y (+2.8% 2-yr. stack) to $6.9B, reflecting the benefit of +15.7% systemwide sales growth (+9.9% 2-yr. stack) somewhat off-set by lower net marketing spend as a percent of sales (continuing a longer-term trend in which marketing spend has declined from 3.1% in 2017 to 2.6% in 2021). Notably, total net restaurant marketing spend as a % of total domestic spend across all industries has declined from 3.2% in 2017 to 2.5% in 2021 as the chains appear less impressed with marketing ROI compared to other industries.
  • Casual chains cut back the most on ad spend (from 2.3% in 2020 to 1.6% of sales in 2021) while increasing their focus on more cost-effective digital marketing (reflecting the diminished effectiveness of traditional TV ads as fewer consumers watch live TV, opting instead for streaming, social media, Internet video & gaming).
  • +38% growth in digital marketing across all domestic industries drove a 54% mix of total marketing spend in in 2021, supporting significant growth in digital sales.
  • 5 chains switched creative ad agencies over the last 12 months (Burger King, Dunkin’, IHOP, Jack in the Box, and KFC).

Marketing Spend 2022 – Report Outline