Returning retail normalcy is driving visits up across sectors, but there may not be a brand better positioned to enjoy the unique post-COVID environment than McDonald’s.
The brand is seeing visits bounce back quickly. Comparing weekly visits to the chain in 2021 to the equivalent weeks in 2019 shows a clear marked recovery. Visits the weeks beginning March 29th, April 5th and April 12th were down just 10.5%, 7.1%, and 16.0% respectively. This is far better than January and February respectively when visits were down over 30% each week on average.
But there is still tremendous room for growth. While states like Florida were already back to positive growth by the week beginning March 29th when comparing visits to the equivalent weeks in 2019, visits in California and New York have trailed far behind. And this is important because these three states, along with Ohio and Texas, mark the states with the largest number of McDonald’s locations. So while the brand is still trending in the right direction, that push could receive an added boost as those states increasingly reopen.
A final indication of the company’s still untapped recovery potential comes from looking at the percentage of visits nationwide that are coming in the morning. While McDonald’s can provide a needed QSR fix at any time of day, the breakfast run is a big piece of the brand’s puzzle. Yet, visits in the mornings are still down from the 8.1% seen in April 2019, when compared with the same periods in 2020 and 2021. And this number is trending back to normalcy indicating that the return of routines is taking place.
McDonald’s is seeing visits rise back nationwide, and all this while several key states are still less open than others. Additionally, the brand is likely to see a significant uptick as the return of normal routines drives visits during certain daytime periods. There is also a strong alignment with key trends as QSR brands tend to perform well in the times following an economic disruption - which the pandemic certainly was. Finally, the brand still has strong delivery, takeaway, and drive-thru capabilities to help them push through the coming months as the country transitions, hopefully, to a post-COVID retail environment.
However you cut it, it’s hard to see how the short-term future isn’t bright for the QSR leader.
Will McDonald’s continue its recovery in the coming weeks and months? Visit Placer.ai to find out.