Fast- and Fast-Casual Restaurants Sales Continue to Grow

HighwayBusinessMatters.jpg

Limited-service restaurants are the driving force behind the commercial foodservice industry, and account for more than half of total industry sales despite their low check averages in comparison to full-service restaurants. That trend has shifted from ten years ago when full-service restaurants led the industry, said a survey by the research firm Technomic. 

As locations that are known for their convenience and hospitality, truckstops and travel plazas along with their food-service providers can capitalize on this trend.

Ten years ago limited-service locations made up 47 percent of the total commercial foodservice industry while full-service restaurants made up 53 percent. Now limited-service restaurants account for 53 percent and full-service restaurants make up 47 percent.

Within the limited-service segment, fast-casual restaurants continue to gain market share while fast-food restaurants are working overtime to upscale their menu and concept positioning–not only to keep pace, but to compete directly with fast-casual leaders.

“The key to LSR growth is differentiation,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. “Many LSRs that have demonstrated growth have a broad consumer appeal, yet each has a discerned approach. Consumers are looking for fresh, better quality ingredients, a contemporary décor and ambiance, and interactive service formats to offer something unique and enhance the customer experience.”

Fast-food patronage thrives on its convenience and value, while food distinction and ambiance are key factors driving patronage at fast-casual locations. Technomic expects the lines between fast-food and fast-casual restaurants to continue to blur, with operators in each sub-segment tweaking their concepts with new unit designs and convenient service formats in order to remain competitive.

The report also found that 72 percent of consumers visit fast-food restaurants once a week or more, while only 49 percent visit fast-casual restaurants.

In addition, consumers visit fast-food and fast-casual restaurants for lunch more often than for any other daypart; 21 percent purchase fast-food lunches at least twice a week and 19 percent visit fast-casual restaurants, largely due to time pressures.

According to the survey, breakfast sandwiches have grown by 35 percent at fast-food restaurants and by 29 percent at fast-casual chains.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

Help tailor Highway Business Matters to meet your needs by sharing your feedback and story ideas. Send your input to: atoner@natso.com.

 

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
Source:
Highway Business Matters (HBM)

Tell Us What You Think

Back to Truckstop Business