Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Q4 Food Index

by 
Tali Rozenman
 on 
February 27, 2020
Q4 Food Index

The holidays brought a much-needed bump to the Home Improvement and Grocery sectors, but were they as exciting for the Food sector as we anticipated? We dug into eleven top restaurant chains to see how they performed in Q4. 

Starbucks Stays Strong

Starbucks and McDonald’s remained the foot traffic leaders this Q4, bringing in 50% of overall visits in this category. The front-runner, Starbucks, accounted for nearly 27% of total visits while McDonald’s accounted for just about 23%. Chick-fil-A came in a distant third, with 12% market share, a testament to the sustained boost the brand has seen, in spite of a rival’s victory in the Chicken Wars.

A Bitter Quarter

Overall, the food sector saw a weaker performance in Q4, with a 3% decrease from the previous quarter. Starbucks, a brand that thrives in the winter months, showed the highest quarter-to-quarter growth with 8%. Panera Bread and Chipotle followed with 4% and 2% growth respectively, while the rest of the group showed quarter-to-quarter decreases in traffic, aligned with the sector’s normal seasonality. Chick-fil-A, unsurprisingly, saw the highest growth when comparing Q4 2019 to Q4 2018, with 18% growth continuing its massive surge. Chipotle also saw a big jump in traffic with 15% growth year-over-year for Q4, further solidifying why the Mexican restaurant is a must-watch in 2020. 

Loyal Eaters 

Starbucks, McDonalds and Chick-fil-A’s strong results don’t end there. McDonalds takes the cake with an average of 2.7 visits per quarter, followed by Starbucks with 2.5 and Chick-fil-A with 2.2. Dunkin’ Donuts comes at a close fourth, with 2.1 visits per quarter, while the rest average at 1.8. It’s critical for these chains to not only attract visits but to attract customers that will keep coming back, and with continuous innovation, McDonald’s and Starbucks are ensuring their customers return for more. 

But who stays the longest? Panera Bread and Starbucks customers show the highest average lengths of stay, 52 minutes and 50 minutes. These are high numbers for the wider QSR sector, considering the average for the group is 41 minutes, showing that these chains are managing to provide an elevated and elongated eating experience for their customers. 

Takeaways 

Though the holidays did not give the food sector a significant boost, the leaders managed to stay on top with strong performances. This just goes to show that continuous innovation, from creative menu options to improved restaurant layouts, is key to keeping these restaurants at the top. 

Will Chick-fil-A continue to build on its momentum into 2020? Will Starbucks reach even bigger heights with Q1 initiatives? Stay tuned for more foot traffic coverage at the Placer.ai blog

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 Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In
Placer.ai’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index
Placer.ai Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
Announcing Placer.ai’s COVID RECOVERY DASHBOARD
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits
Placer.ai Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing Placer.ai’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays
Placer.ai Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall  
Placer.ai Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap 
Placer.ai Mall Indexes - August 2022 Recap
Five Below’s Back to School Success
Plus-Size Fashion’s Staying Power
Placer Bytes: Best Buy & GameStop 
Petco Barking Up the Right Tree
Lipstick Effect Boosts Ulta’s Growth