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Fewer LTOs Slows Restaurant Ad Spending

Restaurants reined in advertising spending in 2014’s first quarter after significantly exceeding the average throughout 2013. According to Kantar Media, total U.S. advertising expenditures (all businesses) increased a surprisingly strong 5.7% to $34.9 billion in the first quarter.

However, restaurant spending in Q1 increased just 1.9% to $1.678 billion. That ended the industry’s year-old streak [...]

Price Hike Doesn’t Slow Bacon Consumption

Bottlefork is the newest restaurant from Rockit Ranch Productions, which owns the two Rockit Bars and others in Chicago. Bottlefork isn’t a burger bar, but at brunch, lunch and dinner it offers the $16 Wood Grilled Ground Bacon Burger topped with Vermillion Blue cheese, shoestrings and special sauce.

Bottlefork’s Wood Grilled Ground Bacon Burger

[...]

The State of the Burger Market, 2014

Looking for a burger restaurant? You’ll have the best luck in California or Mississippi. California has the largest number of burger joints; 11.72% of all Mississippi restaurants are burger-menu spots, highest share in the U.S. And if you want an independent burger spot rather than a chain location, your best bet is Washington, where 26.61% [...]

Even Breakfast Traffic Stalls in Q1

Jack in the Box sought to drive breakfast traffic with a Breakfast Melts deal.

Customer traffic at breakfast has been among the few bright spots—and sometimes the only bright spot—for the restaurant business. Last year, morning-meal visits were up 3% while both lunch and dinner showed 1% declines, according to data from The NPD [...]

Foodservice Spending Back to Pre-Recession Level

The recession is finally behind the foodservice industry. Consumer spending on food away from home rose 2.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, while at-home food spending declined by 0.2%. The increase in away-from-home spending brought foodservice (food-away-from-home) spending back to where it was before the recession.

Source: BLS. (*) 2012 and 2013 are [...]

The NRA Show: Through British Eyes

Peter Backman is managing director of London-based Horizons FS Limited, the UK’s most respected foodservice authority. Again this year, he was in Chicago for the just concluded National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. And as he has been kind enough to do in the past, Peter has again shared with BurgerBusiness.com his report to Horizons’ [...]

Red Robin Bucks Casual Dining Slump

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is proving itself an exception to the general decline of the casual-dining segment of the restaurant business. The Colorado-based chain reported a strong Q1, including a 5.4% increase in same-store sales. Helped by heavier ad spending and the continued success of its top-price Finest burgers, guest counts increased by 0.5% and [...]

Technomic: Burger Chain Growth Peaks

Fast-casual chains such as Smashburger have fared better than QSRs.

Sales by the top burger-menu chains was $72 billion in 2013 but nominal growth was just 1.2%, according to researcher Technomic. Inflation-adjusted sales show a decline last year. “Burger chains have finally reached maturity,” the company concludes in its latest report.

Technomic says the [...]