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Weight loss drug Ozempic is confusing the restaurant industry.

Ozempic battle doesn’t seem to be impacting restaurants Sweetgreen, CAVA

New survey from William Blair details that the vegetable-forward chains will have a better time surviving side effects of weight loss drugs

Sweetgreen is the surprise winner of the diet drug war, according to a survey from investment group William Blair released on Wednesday. The 300-person survey revealed that customers on appetite-suppressing drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound reported going to Sweetgreen more frequently after starting these GLP-1 medications.

Brands that showcase fruits and vegetables, like fast-casual chains Sweetgreen and CAVA, were shown to have an increase in visits, based on the survey.

Late last year, CAVA CEO Brett Schulman said at a Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference that “customers shouldn’t turn to Ozempic, they should turn to CAVA for weight loss.”

Appetite-suppressing drugs like Ozempic have a list of foods that will make users sick including alcohol, greasy and high-fat foods, fruits and vegetables that contain significant roughage, gas-forming vegetables, sweet foods and drinks, and spicy foods.

As such, burger restaurants were one of the chains to take a significant hit because of these drugs, according to the survey. It specifically called out Shake Shack for its “lack of history of successfully pivoting to healthier offerings.”

Smaller portions are considered a way customers could return to restaurants they may not be visiting because of the unhealthy options. Two-thirds of survey respondents said that would make the restaurant more appealing.

Chains like Outback and The Cheesecake Factory were also called out for their decline in traffic by these consumers, though the survey didn’t speculate as to why.

Those chains, along with Chipotle, were visited fewer times once consumers began taking the appetite-suppressing drugs.

On average, those surveyed reported a 19% monthly decline in restaurant spending after beginning the appetite-suppressing drugs, and the frequency at which they visited these chains dropped by roughly 50%. 

Sweetgreen and CAVA both report Q4 and full-year financials next week.

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