menuwatching Report - QSR & Fast Casual 2022

Our latest menuwatching report is here, taking a look at what we've been tracking across QSR - quick service restaurant - and Fast Casual menus across 2022. To better define the channel, QSR is basically fast food, offering quick to prepare food that can be delivered fast. Self-service is common when eating out, with both take-aways and limited seating in restaurants offered. Fast Casual restaurants are very similar, however, there's more of a focus on the ambiance, with table service more commonplace.

Cost may be going up - McDonald's has raised the price of the 99p Cheeseburger for the first time in years - yet QSR is one of the only channels to see growth in the current climate with many diners trading down from pricier restaurants (Big Hospitality 2022).

After so many years of disrupted social lives, going out and having fun remains top priority for many. Relatively low cost, and very accessible, fast food is suddenly even more attractive. From double crispy coated chicken burgers to birria braised beef crispy pancakes served with jalapeño cream, the comfort and nostalgia found with fast food is a big draw.

QSR is one of the strongest performing channels amidst the cost of living crisis. The comforting (and affordable) allure of fast food is irresistible. We've collated three key takeouts from this latest menuwatching report, below, with details on how to access the full report at the bottom of this article.

1. Premiumisation – from transparent sourcing of meat, through to innovate flavour such as a dry aged beef patty with truffle butter, premiumisation helps to keep interest and also opens up the channel to even more consumers.

2. Comfort and Nostalgia – Nostalgia runs through this category with childhood memories at the heart. As well as the ultimate fried chicken, classics such as deep fried apple pie receive flavour twists. Global fusion also dominates, such as cheeseburger wontons.

3. Tech – Technology advances helping with staff shortages and also making ordering quicker.

trendhub subscribers can access the full QSR and Fast Casual menuwatching report here. If you're not yet subscribed but are interested to find out more then complete the form below and we'll get back to you.