Follow Food Trends For Your Franchising Future

Gourmet Hamburgers

Fast food burgers are, well, done.

In “Americans Are Totally Over Fast Food Burgers,” the title of an interesting online article on The Huffington Post, Jillian Berman writes, “Some day soon, a burger and fries will no longer be the quintessential American fast-food meal.”

Berman’s claim is supported by a recent report from analysts at Janney Capital Markets (JCM), a financial-services firm.

JCM says by 2020, the only burger joint in the top five fast-food restaurant chains in America by sales will be McDonald’s, and that burger chains Wendy’s and Burger King, currently fourth and fifth in sales, will be knocked out of the top five by Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-fil-A, respectively. Also, JCM says that so-called “fast casual” chains like Chipotle will move higher.

Just as we share our vast point of sale experience and expertise with startup owners in order to help them make the best decisions from the very beginning, we at Sintel Systems are happy to share articles, advice and commentary about how tastes are changing the restaurant landscape.

The Huffington Post lists JCM’s 2013 rankings and predictions for 2020 as follows:

Chain NameU.S. Systemwide Sales, 2013 ($1B)



Wendy’s   $8.8

Burger King   $8.5

Chain NameU.S. Systemwide Sales, 2020? ($1B)



Dunkin’ Donuts$11.6


Many Americans, particularly those with higher incomes, are turning to more-upscale chains like Starbucks or Panera. Customers are also looking for higher-quality food and favoring those chains that promise to deliver it, like Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A.

“Americans’ tastes are evolving,” Mark Kalinowski, Janney’s lead restaurant analyst, tells The Huffington Post, with customers hungrier for more “adventuresome” foods like the offerings at Chipotle or Taco Bell.

“Years after the recession, “McDonald’s COO Tim Fenton recently admitted, the lower-income customer base for McDonald’s, and its burger-flipping rivals Wendy’s and Burger King, is still struggling.” 

All of this makes it tougher for chains like Wendy’s and Burger King to stand out. “McDonald’s, on the other hand, will probably keep dominating the industry, largely because it has been such a huge presence for so long that its position can’t realistically change much any time soon,” Kalinowski says.

Still, the piece closes by noting that McDonald’s is trying to adjust to Americans’ changing appetites by trying to convince customers that it, too, makes quality food. The post points to one story noting McDonald’s new chicken wraps and sandwiches with egg whites. “Based on a recent Consumer Reports survey that found McDonald’s rated lowest among all fast-food restaurants on taste, that might be a tough sell.”

Read the full article here. For more on McDonald’s struggle to keep the top spot in fast food, click here.

For more insights into consumer tastes and restaurant trends, check out our related posts, Restaurant TrendMapper Has Trend Spotting Trending Higher, Customer Retaliation Alert: My Dish Was Served Cold As Was My Revenge, and Restaurants and Cafes Serve Up New Trends in Interior Design.

Sintel is the only full-service, direct-to-user point of sale provider — no resellers, no middleman. From software development to franchise incubator to ongoing support, part of Sintel’s commitment to our customers and industry is to share information on how to achieve success. Whether you’re a first-time franchise hopeful, a small business owner or an established chain, it’s always smart to stay on top of consumer tastes and restaurant trends.

If you are interested in learning more about Sintel’s point of sale (POS) systems and how our knowledge and support can impact your future success, call us for a complimentary phone consultation.

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