5 ways the coronavirus has changed the way we eat fast food


McDonald’s, Chipotle, Dunkin ‘, Starbucks and several others have reported profits in recent weeks, which included the brutal spring quarter when Covid-19 was emerging across the United States. In addition to illustrating how their bottom line has been decimated, companies’ quarterly financial updates also show how much we’ve changed our daily habits.

Rather than coming in for a coffee or a sandwich, we buy a lot more food in one order. Starbucks (SBUX) said its average check size increased 25% in the most recent quarter as customers purchased multiple drinks and food items.

Dunkin (DNKN)‘noticed a similar trend, with her average order value increasing due to’ family size bulk orders’. Baskin-Robbins, who also owns it, said this partially offset lower sales with more expensive orders as people buy pints of ice cream and cakes.

Storage also gave Domino (DMPZF) a bump.

“One of the things we heard in the quarter is that customers are actively putting more food in the basket to have leftovers the next day,” CEO Ritch Allison said on a recent earnings call. “They’re not just thinking about tonight’s meal, but how they plan for the next day. “

2. The drive-thru is booming

The switch to a “contactless” experience has been a boon for many channels, including McDonalds (MCD). The company said about 90% of its sales in the United States came from its drive-thru aisles, and markets with many drive-thru are recovering faster.

Chipotle (CMG) aggressively developed its drive-thrus, and recently opened its 100th. Locations with Chipotlanes, as they’re cleverly called, saw 10% higher sales in the second quarter compared to corporate restaurants without them. Approximately 60% of its new locations planned this year will have drive-thru.

Taco Bell-owner Yum! Brands (YUM) said it served 5 million more cars through drive-thru compared to the same time a year ago.

3. Digital sales are breaking records

Digital orders placed through third-party services like Uber Eats or through the chains’ own apps also increased significantly in the quarter. Every business seems to have a digital success story, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Domino’s, Chipotle, Yum! and Dunkin ‘, all of which have reported an increase in digital sales.

Chipotle’s digital sales in the second quarter grew 216% year-over-year and accounted for 61% of total sales. Yum! said digital orders for all of its brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC) are at an all-time high, rising from $ 1 billion to $ 3.5 billion from the same quarter a year ago.

And Starbucks, which recently tweaked its app-based rewards program, said mobile orders accounted for 22% of all transactions, a 6% increase from a year ago.

4. The breakfast is disappointing

The almost complete destruction of a morning commute for most of the country had disastrous effects on the once hot meal.

Coffee chains Dunkin ‘and Starbucks both reported sharp drops in revenue and visits because people don’t stop as much in the morning. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, CEO, said that “the disruption of weekday morning routines, especially commuting to work and school, is a headwind.”

Breakfast was previously a tough part of the day for McDonald’s before Covid-19 and continues to drag its sales. In addition to growing competition, the meal “continues to be disproportionately affected by disruptions in commuting routines,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said during this week’s earnings call.

Wendy (LOUPE), which rolled out sophisticated new breakfast options weeks before the pandemic, is expected to release its earnings next week.

5. Noon is the new morning

People might not stop early in the morning, but some do arrive a little later. Starbucks said it saw spikes in traffic around 9:30 a.m. and again around 2 p.m., which led the company to shift its employee shifts around those hours.

Dunkin ‘also noticed a similar trend, with sales dropping from early in the morning to noon between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. These customers buy drinks without coffee, like its new selection of teas and snacks.


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