Six Fast Food Trends Driving Business in 2023

Six Fast Food Trends Driving Business in 2023

Our list of fast-food trends will help you understand the current fast-food industry, customer base, and what types of restaurants will make the best investments.

Fast-Food Restaurant Industry Trends

The fast-food industry is hot and growing! If you’re looking to invest in a fast-food franchise, it’s important to understand current trends having the biggest impact on this expanding market. Knowing who your customer is, what they want, and how they want it will help you maximize your business potential. Here’s a list of the fast-food trends you need to know about:

  1. Growth: According to IBISWorld’s fast-food statistics, the fast-food industry U.S. market size is $366.9 billion and growing faster than the economy overall. The market has been growing steadily over the last five years, with 1.3% market size growth predicted in 2023.
  2. Healthier options: Health-conscious consumers are asking for nutrient-dense menu items with less sugar and fewer calories. Offering fresh, customizable items like salads, plant-based options, veggie bowls, wraps, and lean proteins such as grilled chicken sandwiches gives customers an option to eat healthier. Consumers are also looking for bolder or spicier flavors to add a kick of flavor to their chicken like hot buffalo chicken wings and chicken teriyaki sandwiches.
  3. Sustainability: Consumers have become more aware of the impact their choices have on the environment. They want the restaurants they patronize to make sustainability an ongoing key business practice. Sourcing local ingredients, reducing food waste, recycling, and using eco-friendly packaging are good for the planet and your fast-food business.
  4. Drive-thru and pick-up window options: Consumers love the speed, convenience, and safety of a drive-thru or pick-up window. According to Restaurant Business Online, these simple convenience factors may add to a profitable franchise business’s bottom line and is a worthwhile investment to consider during your site selection process, catering to consumer demand for accessibility and expediency.
  5. Demographics: Barbecue Lab reports nearly everyone in the United States eats fast food! Fast food is now a staple of the American diet. People aged 20-39 currently make up the bulk of fast-food industry consumers at 44.9%. While those in the age bracket of 40-59 are at 37.7% and ages 60+ represent 24.1% of daily fast-food eaters. These fast-food statistics matter because they describe your customer base as very broad. You’ll need to consider the dining preferences and trends of multiple generations to best serve your customers.
  6. Third-party restaurant delivery: Along with the popularity of drive-thrus, third-party delivery apps have become an important feature in the fast-food industry. Consumers want ease and convenience. Nothing is easier than having your fast food delivered to your front door or workplace. But while consumers love the option of delivery, it’s a fast-food trend that can have both positive and negative impacts to your business. QSR Magazine reports that while third-party delivery apps may offer benefits like increased sales and decreased labor costs,  they can also lead to higher prices for the consumer due to delivery fees.

Penn Station East Coast Subs: Beyond the Fast-Food Trends

Penn Station East Coast Subs is an award-winning QSR industry franchise founded in Ohio in 1985 by Jeff Osterfeld. Because Penn Station is still privately held, we’ve been able to stay focused on adapting to trends while remaining true to our high standards for customer service and classic high-quality products.

Our menu has something for everyone. We offer our loyal customers cold deli classics, hot grilled sandwiches, lighter options, salads and wraps, fresh-squeezed lemonade, fresh-cut fries, chocolate chunk cookies, and more. Mobile payment, online ordering, and drive-thrus are conveniences we’re proud to offer consumers.

As a Penn Station East Coast Subs franchisee, you’ll benefit from our streamlined and focused operations and support. You’ll receive training, support with site selection, restaurant design and construction, IT and online ordering, marketing, and financial reporting.

Our long-term view includes strategic growth of our brand and that means we’re looking for qualified franchisees to join the Penn Station family. If you’re passionate about our brand, obsessed with operational excellence, committed to fantastic customer service, and want to own more than one Penn Station, request info today.



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