Consumer Trends


  • A worker at a restaurant with a face mask on hands over a bagged order while an offscreen person taps their credit card on a Square card reader.
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    Sponsored by Square

    Square’s Future of Restaurants report: 2022 Edition

    The Square Future of Restaurants report explores what restaurants care about today and tomorrow, along with the top strategies they’re using.

    Oct. 3, 2022
  • Starbucks sustainable cups
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    Report: Starbucks’ smaller formats report higher traffic counts

    The chain’s smaller units drove 15% more visits per square foot in the past year compared to larger units, Placer.ai finds. 

    By Sept. 30, 2022
  • A picture of a woman holding up a credit card in front of a laptop.
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    wichayada suwanachun via Getty Images

    DoorDash to offer first credit card via Chase, Mastercard

    Co-branded cards have been proven to increase customer frequency, which could also deepen loyalty. 

    By Sept. 27, 2022
  • An image of various pumpkins in green, white, orange and various sizes.
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    IvanMikhaylov via Getty Images

    Report: Pumpkin-flavored menu items flood restaurants

    In the last 30 days, SpotOn’s restaurant clients have added nearly 2,000 pumpkin-flavored menu items, 40% of which are pumpkin-flavored beers.

    By Sept. 26, 2022
  • A group of people are enjoying their meal at around a table in a restaurant while one holds a smartphone to a QR tablet in the middle of the table.
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    Sponsored by Square

    How QR code ordering is improving guest experience and your bottom line

    Overall, restaurants have seen overwhelmingly positive results by providing more ordering channels like QR codes, and their customers are happy with the technology, too.  

    Sept. 26, 2022
  • Atlas Restaurant Group reopens for outdoor dining with social distancing measures in place. (May 2020)
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    Permission granted by Atlas Restaurant Group

    Chicago Mayor proposes to make city’s outdoor dining program permanent

    The proposal includes some changes to the Windy City’s program, which was initially introduced in 2020 and has been extended twice.

    By Sept. 23, 2022
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    Dunkin’ promotes architect behind next-gen push to CMO

    Jill McVicar Nelson, who’s been with Dunkin’ since 2011, has spearheaded several menu offerings targeted at the “next generation of guests.”

    By Peter Adams • Sept. 22, 2022
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    Report: Starbucks, Dunkin’ score traffic bump from pumpkin spice lattes

    Placer.ai finds visits at Starbucks and Dunkin’ rose nearly 26% and nearly 10%, respectively, in the week following their fall menu launches.

    By Sept. 20, 2022
  • A worker at a restaurant with a face mask on hands over a bagged order while an offscreen person taps their credit card on a Square card reader.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Square
    Sponsored by Square

    Square’s Future of Restaurants report: 2022 Edition

    The Square Future of Restaurants report explores what restaurants care about today and tomorrow, along with the top strategies they’re using.

    Sept. 19, 2022
  • White Castle launched a loyalty program nationwide September 2020.
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    Courtesy of White Caslte

    Study: Consumers return to dine-in and want loyalty programs

    Nearly 90% of diners are interested in joining a loyalty program, especially if it offers savings, as inflation impacts spending, a TouchBistro survey finds. 

    By Sept. 15, 2022
  • A Starbucks Store
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    The 4 biggest takeaways from Starbucks’ Investor Day

    The coffee chain laid out plans to target loyalty growth, labor efficiency and international openings, with a goal of reaching 45,000 stores by 2025.

    By Sept. 14, 2022
  • Chipotle Garlic Guajillo Steak metaverse
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    Courtesy of Chipotle

    Chipotle launches its Garlic Guajillo Steak in the metaverse

    The chain says the menu item, which will debut in the Chipotle Grill Simulator on Roblox, is the first from a restaurant brand to launch in the metaverse.

    By Sept. 13, 2022
  • Au Bon Pain interior rendering
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    Courtesy of Au Bon Pain

    Au Bon Pain to roll out modernized store design companywide in 2023

    The chain’s cafes will feature a self-serve bakery and to-go areas to add efficiencies for off-premise customers.

    By Sept. 7, 2022
  • A person holds a smartphone showing the Starbucks app
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    What Starbucks’ bet on NFTs says about the future of loyalty

    The chain's renowned rewards program adds a buzzy new value-grab, potentially laying a course for other marketers to follow.

    By Aaron Baar • Sept. 6, 2022
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    Survey: 88% of restaurant operators have neutral or positive outlook for 2023

    Most operators say customers haven't reacted much to price changes, though 91% have raised prices, according to a Rewards Network report.

    By Sept. 6, 2022
  • An image of several plant-based meat items from Baja Fresh
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    Courtesy of Baja Fresh

    Baja Fresh makes plant-based items permanent

    The Impossible Meat taco, burrito and bowl received positive customer feedback during the yearlong test at the fast casual chain.

    By Sept. 1, 2022
  • An image of a building with "Rubio's Coastal Grill" on the outside.
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    Permission granted by Rubio's Coastal Grill

    Rubio’s Coastal Grill introduces a new rewards program

    Rubio’s Rewards allows customers to cash in points in exchange for free menu items, with diners earning 10 points for every dollar spent. 

    By Aug. 31, 2022
  • Burger King Impossible Chicken Sandwich
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    Courtesy of Burger King

    Burger King’s original chicken sandwich goes plant based

    The brand’s Impossible Original Chick’n Sandwich pilot follows two Impossible Whopper launches and last year’s Impossible Nuggets test.

    By Aug. 22, 2022
  • An image of a table and several plates with a burger and breakfast items
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    Permission granted by IHOP

    IHOP’s new menu serves up customization

    The Choice menu, which includes made-to-order griddle combos, steakburgers and chicken sandwiches, will be available any time of day.

    By Aug. 22, 2022
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    yaoinlove via Getty Images

    McDonald’s will test a Chicken Big Mac in Miami

    The Chicken Big Mac received positive diner reviews when it launched for a limited time in the U.K. earlier this year, according to McDonald’s. 

    By Aug. 18, 2022
  • A family of four eating pizza, corn dogs and other fast food items.
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    kali9 via Getty Images

    Study: A quarter of low-income households have stopped eating out

    Frequency among families with household income under $45,000 declined 6% during the second quarter, data from The NPD Group shows.

    By Aug. 17, 2022
  • Fresh organic avocado on the wooden table
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    pilipphoto via Getty Images

    Whole Foods co-founder plans to launch vegetarian restaurant chain

    John Mackey’s past success scaling a business promoting healthy lifestyles could attract more investor attention as plant-based diets grow in popularity.

    By Aug. 9, 2022
  • A woman sitting at a table using her phone as a calculator. On the table there are financial charts.
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    Hispanistic via Getty Images

    Study: Over 66% of independent restaurants seeing sales declines from inflation

    Seventy-six percent of operators surveyed by Seated said they have increased menu prices to deal with current economic conditions.

    By Aug. 5, 2022
  • A person holds a smartphone showing the Starbucks app
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    Courtesy of Starbucks

    Despite menu price increases, Starbucks Rewards members keep coming back

    Guest counts reached an all-time high during the quarter, with loyalty customer growth outpacing non-members. 

    By Aug. 3, 2022
  • A male server serves four customers sitting at a table with a bowl of pasta and a hamburger
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    monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

    Study: Consumers spending 40% of food budget on restaurants despite inflation

    As inflation squeezes budgets, consumers say they would more likely cut spending on clothes and gym memberships before decreasing going out to eat, Popmenu finds.

    By Aug. 1, 2022