Entering the pandemic, these four categories show relatively flat year-over-year growth of roughly negative 5 to 10 percent. Then in late March, as the effects of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns started to fully be felt, quick serve, coffee, and diners all take a year-over-year dive of roughly 20, 45, and 80 percent, respectively.
But then, over the next four months, they dig out of that hole. By the week ending August 16, casual dining is only down 1 percent year-over-year, while coffee is actually up 27 percent year-over-year and quick serve is up 32 percent.
This is all fairly impressive—but let’s talk about pizza during this period. Unlike the other three categories, when the pandemic and lockdowns kicked in in late March, consumer spend in the pizza category actually held steady rather than experiencing a precipitous drop. It then rose to approximately 55 percent year-over-year growth by mid-April, and maintained that growth trajectory for the next several months, finishing out the week of August 16 with 64 percent year-over-year growth.
The juggernaut that is pizza means that taken together, those four dining categories reach August 16 being up 28 percent year-over-year, which is pretty much a full rebound well beyond where the consumer spend was before the pandemic.
So, who are the specific brands that are helping drive the growth in these categories?