For top restaurants, 2021 has been a good year
2021 has been a good year for large restaurant chains, not only unlike the devastating year before, but also compared to pre-pandemic standards.
The rapid innovation of the previous year, increased offsite availability and upgraded digital platforms allowed restaurants to continue to benefit from high digital ordering, even as consumer mobility increased. and that diners satisfied their pent-up demand for on-site experiences.
Quick service brands enjoyed a significant improvement over their pre-pandemic performance.
McDonald’s, for example, announced in late October that comparable third-quarter global sales rose 10% on a two-year basis, while competitor Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, among others, has saw its system-wide sales increase. 6% from 2019. Additionally, Taco Bell saw system-wide sales for the first nine months of the year increase 15% over a two-year stack, KFC saw a 13% increase and Pizza Hut saw a modest 1% increase.
The increase makes sense, given how much of these brands’ business has come from those digital sales that have grown significantly since the start of the pandemic. According to data from PYMNTS and Paytronix’s 2021 Restaurant Readiness Index, 55% of quick-service restaurant chain (QSR) sales are generated online, while 39% of full-service restaurant chain sales are generated online. table are carried out via digital channels.
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Still, 39% is a large party in their own right, and table-service restaurants have also benefited from the widespread adoption of digital channels, reporting sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse among others, announced earlier this month that in the quarter ended November 28, sales of all brands were up 10% from the same quarter two years ago. earlier. Likewise, Brinker International, parent company of Chili’s Grill & Bar and other full-service chains, announced in early November that in its last all-time quarter, comparable restaurant sales rose 6% in two. year.
In fact, the restaurant industry as a whole has experienced more than inflationary sales growth. According to United States Census Bureau data for October, the most recent month on record, nationally seasonally adjusted sales in food services and drinking places were up 11% from 2019.
However, not all restaurants benefit from these same increases. For small independents, even those who have managed to survive the onslaught of challenges posed by 2020, it has been a difficult year.
Results of the PYMNTS Main Street Index study of December 2021, created in collaboration with Melio, which examines the growth of new establishments, real wages and employment in U.S. small businesses, shows that Main Street restaurants are lagging behind small businesses in other industries, remaining about 20% below average. performance of 2019.
Read the full report: The Main Street Index
“The demand for catering is back, and I think anyone who has eaten at a restaurant in the past few months has probably seen it.”Alex lee, vice president and general manager of Resy and American Express Global Dining Network, told Karen Webster in an interview last month. “But I think the theme we’re looking at more than anything is that the recovery from COVID has been patchy and inconsistent. “
See also: Dine-In Restaurant Recovery Hinges on Digital Experiences