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Q4 Trends Report: Digital, Food & Drink, Tips

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The Q4 2023 Restaurant Trends report delves into various aspects of the restaurant industry during that time, including catering activity during holidays and large events, food and alcohol preferences in cold weather, and tipping trends every week.

Q4 Catering Surge: Digital, Food & Drink, Tips

In Boston, MA, Toast (NYSE: TOST), a digital platform for restaurants, has released its Q4 2023 Restaurant Trends Report. This report offers insights into the state of the U.S. restaurant industry by analyzing aggregated data from selected groups of restaurants in certain U.S. metropolitan areas that use the Toast platform. As of December 31, 2023, the Toast platform serves around 106,000 restaurant locations. More details about the methodology used for this report can be found below.

Food & Wine Trends

To understand food and wine trends in the fourth quarter of 2023, Toast analyzed the number of orders for 27 restaurants and nine wine categories. By comparing the average of the fourth quarter of 2023 to the previous three quarters of 2023, Toast identified the most popular foods and drinks as the year draws to a close.

Spoiler alert: The thick salad and seltzer were not stars

In Q4, the cooler weather appeared to affect consumer dining choices, with guests ordering hot comfort food more often than in the previous quarter Soups/stews orders grew significantly, with 25% more orders than in the first quarter, followed by ramen and noodles (+13%), curry (+12%). , dumplings (+8%), meat (+5%), and rice (+5%).

In contrast, salads saw the largest drop in orders compared to the previous quarter, followed by bowls, nachos, hot dogs (-7%) and tacos (-6%) Surprisingly, some food categories, such as desserts and enchiladas, showed little change in volume in Q4 compared to the previous quarter.

As for beverages, whiskey orders were up 21% in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter, alongside wine ( 13%), vodka ( 12%), rum ( eleven%), including gin (10%), and tequila (9%). , and beer ( 12%). On the other hand, hard cider and tough seltzer declined in popularity throughout Q4.

Eating habits

With so many holidays and celebrations of the year leaving in Q4, it’s a busy time for big meals and activities. Catering transactions increased significantly in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022, with nearly 30% of the jump coming from online ordering.

Bakery, coffee, tea, and cake products were the most popular catering equipment category in Q4, accounting for about 32% of all businesses. Typically, catering orders were $160 in steps and tickets, the signs were thirteen. Notably, the guidance for New Year’s Eve orders is 23.2%.

Food orders were down over the quarter’s weekend, with Sundays 36% slower and Sundays fifty-three slower compared to weekly averages. Tuesdays and Wednesdays have been the busiest ordering days.

Holiday parties and other events also saw sluggish growth in Q4 2023 compared to a year ago, with the average long ticket price for major events hovering around $162.

Tipping Trends

Overall, tipping remained constant in Q4 2023 as compared to Q3 2023, with general hints averaging 18.9%. Full-service eating place tips remained constant at 19.4%, while short-provider restaurant tips dipped barely to 16%.

Weekly tipping facts advised that tip probabilities were lowest at the start of the week, peaked on Thursdays, and dropped once more on Fridays and Saturdays. Guests tended to tip the most generously on Thursdays and the least on Sundays.

There had been some exceptions to tipping developments, which include lower tips on Halloween but better suggestions as much as Christmas, especially on Christmas Eve. Guests at short-service restaurants tended to tip more on vacations like Thanksgiving and Christmas as compared to guests at full-carrier eating places.

Regional tipping versions have additionally been found, with Indiana and Kentucky leading in overall tip percentage, while New Hampshire exceeded the national average for complete-carrier restaurant hints, and West Virginia led in brief-carrier eating place pointers.

In summary, the Q4 2023 Restaurant Trends record provides precious insights into various elements of the eating place enterprise, along with patron options, catering developments, and tipping behaviours.

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