denverpost.com – Americans aren’t forsaking fast food just yet.
Three years after analysts predicted that Chipotle would be the death of McDonald’s and other fast-food stalwarts, the onetime fast-casual darling is in free fall – and McDonald’s is reporting its third consecutive quarter of solid same-store sales.
McDonald’s is not alone. All of the “Big 3” burger joints – McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King – have recently seen strong same-store sales growth. Since 2015, fast-food chains have outperformed fast casual and sit-down establishments by more than two percentage points, according to an analysis by the industry publication Nation’s Restaurant News.
The development has defied some analysts’ expectations in a time of changing consumer preferences. It also speaks to the strong hold that fast food has on the American psyche – and how hard it will be to get consumers to give up their Quarter Pounders and Big Macs.
“It’s iconic,” said Melissa Abbott, the vice president of culinary insights at the Hartman Group, a restaurant industry consulting firm. “There’s still a desire for foods that provide familiarity and comfort.”
As Abbott and other analysts describe it, the enduring appeal of fast-food chains goes far beyond taste. Despite an ever-expanding menu of “better-for-you” options, chains such as McDonald’s still boast the holy trinity of convenience, low cost and familiarity.
Keyword being “low cost” here, combine that with our laziness and humans inept ability to adjust to change…and voila! McDonald’s has the perfect formula for extended success, not that complicated I guess.