With the increased cost of living, many Australians have had to adjust their spending habits to meet higher mortgage repayments, utility costs and prices at the supermarket. But as we have said numerous times, Australians love eating out, even when times are tough. This means we may ‘trade down’ our choice of venue or meal type, but the culture of eating out in Australia is embedded deep within our culture. Recently, a media outlet put the ‘eating out for value’ to the test by ranking the hot chip offerings from a selection of fast-food chains. The objective was to determine the lowest cost per 100 grams of hot chips. Whether hot chips are the litmus test for the severity of Australia’s economic environment is up for debate, however, leads to an interesting discussion on the QSR landscape.
Media has reported the closure of a number of QSR operators this year, including Domino’s announcement to close 70 stores globally. At surface level, these reports could indicate a downturn in the QSR sector. However, research reveals a more complicated picture.
The recently released AFS Market Structure 2023 report has revealed that QSR Chain channel has seen an increase in total outlet numbers over the past 12 months. In fact, four new chains have been added to the Minor Chains segment. In total market size, on the other hand, that is the QSR Chains’ annual procurement of food and non-alcoholic beverages that goes into their meal offerings is declining. This means less meals are being served today than during the pandemic.
It is important to make decisions on fact and data gathered from the source, and not relying on media ‘spin’!