Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Popeyes, KFC, and Taco Bell Prove Diverse Menus Matter 

Shira Petrack
August 1, 2022
Popeyes, KFC, and Taco Bell Prove Diverse Menus Matter 

We dove into foot traffic trends for Popeyes, KFC, and Taco Bell to see how menu changes impact visits. Although the data presented here does not include all drive-thru and pick-up orders – and so does not represent the totality of the brands’ foot traffic – these metrics still show how a single popular item can significantly boost traffic across a QSR brand.

Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Still Boots Visits 

Like other players in the space, Popeyes has seen its year-over-year (YoY) foot traffic slip recently as consumers shift their spending to favor groceries over restaurants. But thanks to the brand’s beloved chicken sandwich, year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visits are still going strong, with June 2022 visits up 6.5% relative to June 2019. 

The brand introduced the fried chicken sandwich in August 2019 and sold out in just two weeks before re-introducing the popular item in November 2019. Since then, the brand has consistently beat its pre-chicken sandwich traffic numbers – and it looks like the sandwich is still playing a key role in helping the brand weather the current economic challenges. 

Year-over-year (YoY) weekly visits fell throughout July, impacted by the strength of visits in July 2021 resulting from pent-up demand and retail’s wider reopening. But the Yo3Y weekly visit numbers stayed strong, with foot traffic for the week of July 18th up 15.3% compared to the equivalent week in 2019. Popeyes impressive Yo3Y performance is a testament to the potential of popular menu items to drive up traffic for an entire brand. 

Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza Drives Visit Surge

Like Popeyes, Taco Bell is tapping into the power of the menu refresh to draw in customers. Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza was first introduced in 1985 and was discontinued in November 2020 as part of a wider menu culling initiated by the pandemic. Outraged fan Krish Jagirdar launched a petition that garnered over 200,000 signatures and – according to the brand – played a key role in Taco Bell’s decision to reintroduce the item nationwide on May 19th, 2022. But Taco Bell underestimated the massive demand for the item, and began selling out of the popular pizza just two weeks later. 

The re-introduction – and quick liquidation – of the Mexican Pizza is reflected in the brand’s foot traffic. Nationwide Taco Bell visits relative to the week of March 7th, 2022 spiked nationwide the week of May 16th with the launch of the pizza and stayed elevated for the two weeks during which the item was fully stocked at Taco Bell branches around the country. But as the pizza supply dwindled, so did visits to brands. The brand plans to bring the pizza back in the fall – at which point visits are likely to surge once again. 

KFC’s Chicken Nuggets Help Charlotte Beat Nationwide Trends

KFC is also experimenting with new products through its recently introduced chicken nuggets. The Louisville, Kentucky-based brand began testing this new menu item in select locations in Charlotte, North Carolina beginning on July 18th. The nuggets are designed to appeal to Gen-Z consumers who are less interested in eating chicken on the bone – and if the current trial launch goes well, the nuggets may permanently replace the popcorn chicken currently on KFC menus nationwide. 

Comparing foot traffic to KFC restaurants nationwide with visits to KFC branches in the Charlotte, NC DMA shows that the nuggets are already driving demand. Prior to the release of the nuggets, nationwide visits and visits to KFCs in Charlotte, NC followed similar patterns. But foot traffic to Charlotte KFCs pulled ahead the week of July 18th – the same week that the chicken nuggets launched locally. This indicates once again the significant impact that a single menu item can have in the QSR space. 

For more data-driven dining insights, visit

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Taco Bell
Text Link
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024? White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy Mall Index: February 2024 Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024:’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023 Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!