Reporting Q4 global same store sales up a whopping 9.8% Popeye’s continues to prove that fast, fresh, fried, spicy, hot, food sells! While the American Express MarketBrief pointed out that “Forty-two percent of American consumers polled the in middle of Q4 this year said they are “living comfortably” or are “very well off”. Clearly restaurants with solid fundamentals in operations and marketing are winning.
The same report found that same-store sales at leading fast-casual chain restaurants grew 8% in Q3. Which got us thinking that 9.8% is much better than 8%. While we believe that Popeyes numbers are driven in large part by brand consumer relevance and outstanding leadership, it is our position that the QSR, fast food sector will rebound in Q1 2015.
Falling gas prices do lift all boats. However Foodservice Solutions® Q3 research as we reported here in our blog found that McDonalds is still the number One aspirational restaurant brand and should benefit the most from gas price declines and an improved jobs climate.
Deflation may damper consumers’ growing willingness to spend at restaurants. If by June deflation becomes an increased worry for the Federal Reserve, that deflation concern may well create disequilibrium in the marketplace and the overall economy driving consumers to save and trade down not up.
Popeye’s has hit the right messaging, timing, and placement of it advertising and integrated it with on-target menu and LTO’s to drive customer relevance. It is our belief that Popeye’s and McDonalds will prove very viable competitors to all in 2015.
Steven Johnson is the Grocerant Guru™ at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, with extensive experience as a public speaker, multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning expert. Outside Eyes can provide inside results. Interested in a product, or brand scorecard? Contact: 253-759-7869 or Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us