Consumer Trends


  • An image of a Taco Bell store.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Taco Bell

    Taco Bell embraces soccer, Latin culture in new ad

    The chain looks to capitalize on the World Cup in a new soccer-themed campaign featuring a diverse array of talent.

    By Sara Karlovitch • Dec. 1, 2022
  • An aerial image of an A&W double drive-thru restaurant
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Anthony Walker/A&W

    How a second drive-thru lane boosted sales for an A&W franchisee

    After investing $80,000 in the drive-thru renovation, franchisee Anthony Walker said drive-thru sales went “through the roof” and total roughly 65% of sales.

    By Nov. 23, 2022
  • An image of a happy hour sign at a restaurant.
    Image attribution tooltip
    claudio.arnese via Getty Images

    Report: Deals, promotions aren’t driving QSR traffic

    Foodservice deal occasions were down 1% and non-deal traffic was down 2% in the quarter ending September, The NPD Group found in its latest data. 

    By Nov. 11, 2022
  • A picture of a brown crispy rice treat from Sweetgreen.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Sweetgreen

    Sweetgreen enters dessert category

    The salad chain’s Crispy Rice Treat, which costs $2.95, is part of a push to broaden its menu to reach more customers and dayparts.

    By Nov. 7, 2022
  • An image of a hand putting a dollar in a tip jar.
    Image attribution tooltip
    SDI Productions via Getty Images

    Report: 47% of Americans tip 20% at dine-in restaurants

    Over 60% of diners said they don’t tip at restaurants that don’t offer table service, according to a PlayUSA survey of roughly 1,000 Americans.

    By Oct. 27, 2022
  • A McDonald's store is shown in Houston, Texas.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Brandon Bell via Getty Images

    McDonald’s CEO says affordable digital channels will help chain face recession

    Value offerings, especially via online and delivery channels, helped diners tolerate Q3 price hikes of 10% year-over-year, Chris Kempczinski told investors.

    By Oct. 27, 2022
  • The TikTok logo on a phone.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Study: 53% of millennial TikTok users visited a restaurant after seeing it on the app

    MGH Restaurants called the app “a restaurant marketer’s dream,” as visually appealing foods drive visits and induce customers to travel farther than normal.

    By Oct. 25, 2022
  • Two people are seated at a bar. A bartender uses a mobile device to scan a one of the customer's credit card while smiling.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Square
    Sponsored by Square

    Increase F&B sales with tableside ordering

    How one restaurant added tableside ordering and increased alcohol sales by 22%.

    Oct. 24, 2022
  • An image of a waitress serving three people at a table.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Hispanolistic via Getty Images

    Study: Diner demand for restaurants higher than 2021

    Popmenu’s survey of 1,000 customers found a majority are willing to pay more to keep restaurants open.

    By Oct. 20, 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.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Square
    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.  

    Oct. 17, 2022
  • An image showing some of Dunkin's branding pasted on the side of a building.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Dunkin'

    Dunkin’ fans, angered by rewards changes, say brand has lost its identity

    The minimum cost of a coffee, measured in loyalty points, increased by about 25%, and some diners say the changes have made them switch to alternatives.

    By Oct. 13, 2022
  • A series of images of mobile phones showing the process of adding drinks to a DoubleDash order.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of DoorDash

    DoorDash users can now add c-store alcohol to their restaurant order

    The aggregator’s latest enhancement to its DoubleDash service allows people to bundle alcohol in with their order from a convenience store or restaurant.

    By Jessica Loder • Oct. 11, 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.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Square
    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.  

    Oct. 10, 2022
  • Four McDonald's figurines designed by Cactus Plant Flea Market encircle a Happy Meal placed on a red table against a sky-blue backdrop.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by McDonald's USA

    Deja vu? McDonald’s adult Happy Meals raise specter of past promos run awry

    Kotaku pointed to posts from overwhelmed employees on Reddit and TikTok, while a budding resale market underpins strong demand for the meals.

    By Peter Adams • Updated Oct. 10, 2022
  • A woman sitting at a table using her phone as a calculator. On the table there are financial charts.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Hispanistic via Getty Images
    Opinion

    Why ‘tipping fatigue’ isn’t impacting restaurant servers the way you’d think it is

    Diner tips were 9.9% higher in Q2 2022 compared to the year-ago period, and digital payments hold opportunity for robust gratuity, says Kelly Esten, SVP & GM of enterprise at Toast. 

    By Kelly Esten • Oct. 5, 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.

    Oct. 3, 2022
  • Starbucks sustainable cups
    Image attribution tooltip
    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 Alicia Kelso • Sept. 30, 2022
  • A picture of a woman holding up a credit card in front of a laptop.
    Image attribution tooltip
    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.
    Image attribution tooltip
    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.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Square
    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)
    Image attribution tooltip
    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 Alicia Kelso • Sept. 23, 2022
  • Dunkin's digital store
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Dunkin'

    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
    Image attribution tooltip
    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 Alicia Kelso • 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.
    Image attribution tooltip
    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 Alicia Kelso • Sept. 15, 2022