menuwatching Report - QSR & Fast Casual 2023

Our QSR & Fast Casual 2023 report is now live! In this report we delve into trends in flavours, cuisines, health, social media, beverages, burgers, elevated fast casual and more.

QSR and Fast Casual continue to be a channel that is growing YOY, globally the fast casual restaurant market is valued at US $169.92 billion, and is estimated to reach US $407.26 billion by 2031, rising at a CAGR of 10.3% between 2023-31.

Many consumers are turning to this channel instead of the Casual channel because of their finances, or lack thereof. To help encourage more customers to this channel, QSR and Fast Casual are turning to serving alcohol and sourcing food and drinks from sustainable suppliers.

We've compiled our 3 top takeouts from the report, listed below:

1. TikTok & Menu Hacks - The QSR and Fast Casual channel is heavily influenced by social media/TikTok menu hacks and saver codes on store apps. Look for #menuhacks (or add in the restaurant eg #McDonaldsmenuhacks) – and you will discover thousands of examples that you can ask for by name at stores (eg McCrunchy Double, with a double cheeseburger that you then load with an order of chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce).

2. Blurring of Channels - As more consumers turn to QSR and Fast Casual, so fast food restaurants start to look for inspiration from other channels. Some look to own label alcohol, such as Dunkin' launching spiked tea and coffee; elsewhere we see Fine Dining chefs opening chicken and burger shops (e.g. Mollis chicken shop in Nottingham is owned by Alchemilla's Alex Bond!).

3. Global Influences – Global twists and flavours dominate the QSR & Fast Casual sphere. Burgers and fried chicken in particular are melded with flavours from the East, such as Korean Fried Chicken (the 'other' KFC) or Taiwanese popcorn chicken. American states are called out too; e.g. Nashville hot chicken is now popular across all channels. These global influences are easy to achieve across menus, with the use of local sauces, condiments, seasonings, and coatings.


trendhub subscribers can access the full 88-page QSR & Fast Casual 2023 menuwatching report here. If you're not yet subscribed but are interested to find out more then complete the form below and a member of the team will back to you with more information.