Skip to main content

Full-service restaurants face an uphill battle heading into 2017

Technomic’s 2017 Top 500 Report reveals challenges and opportunities facing the full-service segment

Chicago, May 11, 2017—Technomic reporting indicates that the restaurant industry overall fared relatively well in 2016, but full service has experienced some highs and lows, with annual sales growth dipping to 1.4% and unit growth remaining flat. Traditional casual-dining chains most heavily contributed to this segment’s troubles. The top five largest full-service brands, four of which are casual dining, all either had negative or slow sales in 2016.

Report is available for purchase here: https://www.technomic.com/available-studies/industry-reports/top-500

“Full-service chains continue to face strong competition from full-service independents and regional chain restaurants, which provide a more local experience,” says Darren Tristano, Winsight’s chief insights officer. “Today’s consumer looks for a more contemporary atmosphere, a strong adult beverage program and a menu of food and beverages that caters to local preferences. Operators also face stiff competition from limited-service restaurants that offer value, convenience, speed and customization.”

Bright spots within full service are polished/upscale and contemporary casual-dining chains, which increased sales by 4% and 4.5%, respectively. Even fine dining saw sales growth rise by 4.9% due to the affluence of the sector’s customer base, quality of offerings found at these brands and appeal this segment has with today’s consumer.

Growth categories include:

  • Asian: The 4.3% sales jump of this category represents consumer interest in more specialty-focused brands, as well as the continued appeal of ethnic cuisines.
  • Sports Bar: The 3.9% sales increase for this menu category demonstrates that opportunity still exists for brands to appeal to consumers with a varied craft beer selection, craveable pub fare like burgers and wings, and an overall sports-focused atmosphere.
  • Steak: This segment, which saw sales up 2.9%, had strong results from Texas Roadhouse (up 8.8%). Steakhouses are finding favor with consumers because they marry quality food and service with an inviting atmosphere.

Technomic’s 2017 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report provides an exclusive one-year sales forecast by menu category, an expanded outlook and opportunities section, as well as key themes to help navigate the current industry landscape.

To purchase or learn more about this and other industry reports from Technomic, please visit our website or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Contacts:
Press inquiries: Darren Tristano, (312) 506-3850, dtristano@technomic.com
Purchasing details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852, pnoone@technomic.com

About Technomic
Only Technomic, a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We impact growth and profitability for our clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us at technomic.com.

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight, LLC is a business-to-business media and information services company specializing in the convenience-retailing, restaurant and noncommercial foodservice industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio including four publications, CSP, Restaurant Business,FoodService Directorand Convenience Store Products, a suite of digital products including websites, e-newsletters (Restaurant Business Daily and CSP Daily News) and webinars, plus video products, mobile and tablet apps, custom marketing solutions and the convenience-retailer intelligence tool, CSPedia. The Winsight Events group produces six exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences—Restaurant Leadership Conference, FARE Conference, Outlook Leadership, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC and MenuDirections—in addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings. Winsight recently acquired Technomic, Inc., a food industry provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services. Winsight is a recognized leader in the markets it serves.

For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to WinsightMedia.com.

Recent Press Releases

May 25, 2017

Technomic's Take: What's Really Wrong with Restaurants?

By Joe Pawlak, Managing Principal on May 25, 2017

The restaurant industry is facing its most challenging environment since the Great Recession. Our recently released restaurant forecasts suggest that despite expected growth above 3% for 2017 and 2018, growth will come from menu price increases and positive menu mix shifts rather than all-important traffic gains. Read more »

May 18, 2017

Cafes finding growth amid heightened competition

Study conducted by Technomic reveals the latest trends and data to understanding consumers’ shifting behaviour and attitudes toward bakery and coffee cafes
May 17, 2017

Whiskey growth continues on-premise, but not without challenges

Technomic finds expanding whiskey selections on menus and back bars and high interest from Millennial consumers contributing to positive sales trends