Restaurant Research:
Crisp, Clear, Global

Global Restaurant Industry Intelligence

Accelerating change, fierce competition, and hotly contested markets: the pressure on leaders in the foodservice industry is intense, and they need relevant, actionable insights to make sure-footed decisions.

Seismic shifts are rearranging segments, redefining guests’ expectations around the quality and speed of restaurant experiences, and revolutionizing how meals are ordered, prepared, and delivered.  

The better the question, the better the answer.​

What emerging concepts and competitors should we have on our radar?
Do we have the right tools and technology?
What should we source from third parties, and what should we create in-house?
How will consumer dining behavior and consumption patterns be different in five years?
Are we tracking and prioritizing the right KPIs? Are we setting goals and targets effectively?
How should we adapt our location and expansion strategy going forward?
Where is the low-hanging fruit? What are the quick wins to gain momentum fast?
What are our biggest risks, and what are the risk mitigation strategies for individual brands and markets?
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While it’s easier than ever to get a birds-eye view of global markets (and anyone with an internet connection can do so), this perspective often remains at the level of headline and observation, providing little in the way of actionable intelligence. Meanwhile, the pace of change continues to accelerate, both within the hospitality industry and the world as a whole.

Where others see stars and random data points, we see constellations and meaningful connections.

Restaurant Research Supporting Operators, Suppliers, Investors, and Manufacturers for B2B and B2C Foodservice Organizations

We help our clients understand emerging categories, evolving purchasing behavior, and the conditions — and competition — in existing and expanding markets. Backed by decades of experience across all functional areas of chained foodservice operations, our market research services (including restaurant market studies, consumer trends, competitive analysis, and more) help combat bias and inertia, surfacing the insights executive teams need to make informed decisions before launching new products, profit centers, and features, expanding into new formats, channels, and markets, or investing in new technologies, concepts, and brands.

Which global markets are growing fastest? How is this expected to change and evolve?

What regulations are targeting foodservice operators (business regulations, trade policies, etc.)?

Are conditions generally favorable or unfavorable for restaurants? What are the forecasts?

Is foodservice performing better or worse compared to other industries and segments?

What are the biggest areas of opportunity (for growth, expansion, optimization, etc.)?

What are the largest risks posing a threat to our organization, and how can we address them?

How will emerging and anticipated societal trends impact our business?

What proposed environmental policy changes could impact the costs of building and expansion?

Which companies and brands will pose the most substantial threats, now and in the future?

How will consumer dining behavior and consumption patterns be different in five years?

What categories, cuisines, and segments are growing? Shrinking? Why, and what is expected?

What are the predictions of and implications for existing and emerging technologies?

Global Consumer Foodservice and Restaurant Research

Through distinctive, data-driven insights informed by our unparalleled understanding of the dynamics driving the foodservice industry — and the ability to connect the dots in a way that is both holistic and actionable — we help clients:

  1. Maximize sales growth by uncovering new geographies where to play, and how to best translate a brand in those markets when preparing for cross-border expansion
  2. Drive top-line performance by developing and deploying sales-building initiatives based on learning how the competition is acting (and how to counter their strategies)
  3. Augment capabilities of teams that are under time or resource constraints when implementing an initiative or evaluating an investment
  4. Identify potential acquisition opportunities by leveraging our global know-how and know-who, and in-depth knowledge of what categories are attractive targets; support investment thesis ideation and assumptions based on quantitative industry data
  5. Improve the quality and clarity of corporate and competitive intelligence and capitalize on emerging trends before the competition to gain and maintain leadership among peers
  6. Mitigate the risk of being disrupted by better understanding evolving consumer behaviors and competitive landscape trends relative to future of foodservice implications
  7. Expand market share by identifying untapped geographies, markets, categories, profit centers, and alternative formats

Restaurant Industry Trends

Our expertise extends across all the foodservice universe: from restaurant trends to fast food facts to the food delivery industry.

Restaurant Industry Statistics

Restaurant sector analysis covering restaurant industry outlooks, growth by geography and category, and economic and political factors influencing foodservice.

Restaurant Economics

Restaurant analytics and benchmarks relevant to improve performance including labor costs, food costs, and sales-building.

We provide market analysis for the restaurant industry to help executive teams understand, prioritize, and act on the information that matters most to their businesses.

C-suites are awash in data like never before. P&L statements, social media engagement metrics, same-store sales numbers, channel analyses, year-over-year AUVs, financial forecasts, media buy reports, throughput analyses, and market updates flood inboxes, giving the illusion of complete knowledge and control. Insights and foresight can shape not only corporate strategy — they can also help make and shape markets and categories.

We deliver crisp, clear corporate intelligence relative to the forces and dynamics influencing industry performance, the competitive landscape, evolving consumer dining behaviors and consumption trends, and inform decision-making with dependable, yet hard-to-get, data and razor-sharp forecasts for where things are headed and how to harness both headwinds and tailwinds for improved performance.

Restaurant industry Statistics at a Glance

  • $3.6 trillion global foodservice industry, about 4.2% of global GDP (2019)
  • 85% of growth originates outside North America
  • Globally, Food At Home (grocery) is a larger industry ($6.2 trillion)
  • In the U.S., the split between Food At Home and Food Away From Home is 55%–45% (compared to 48%–52% pre-COVID) 
  • The U.S. foodservice industry represents almost $700 billion in sales (2020)
  • Foodservice suppliers represent a $1.2 trillion industry
  • Limited-service restaurants (quick service, fast casual, cafes, delivery-only, etc.) represent about 43% of the global share
  • Full-service restaurants represent about 43% of the global restaurant industry
  • Managed services, non-commercial, military represents about 15% of the global Food Away From Home industry
  • In the U.S., restaurants employ more than 12 million people

Global Restaurant Industry Research

  • The Size Of The Pie Is Getting Larger: The industry accounts for annual sales of $3.6 trillion globally and growth in the next four years is expected to reach $613b (with 85% of growth originating outside North America).
  • U.S. History to Serve As Index for Global Growth: While it’s taken the U.S. nearly 50 years to reach its current point of a near-equal 50/50 split between food spend at restaurants and at grocery stores, this pattern can be used as forecasting tools in emerging markets.
  • Margins are Still Higher in Emerging Markets: Largely because the cost of labor is lower in emerging markets, four-walls operating margins can be as much as twice what the same brand may earn in a more mature foodservice environment.
  • Western Brands Appeal in Foreign Regions: The world’s largest restaurant companies are primarily Western (American, in particular) and a large portion of the growth in emerging markets comes from established local operators running foreign brands. Western QSRs own 70% of the global top 30 brands.

These are the types of insights you can expect from us …

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