Mexican fast food falls behind
Quick-service players Taco Bell and Del Taco lost market share, while fast-casual competitors Moe’s Southwest Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill and, yes, even Chipotle Mexican Grill saw gains. Still, both Del Taco and Taco Bell grew Estimated Sales Per Unit, which rose 7.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, in the Latest Year.
Buffalo Wild Wings
A big winner in the Casual-Dining segment was Buffalo Wild Wings, with an increase of 0.6 percentage points, to 8.9 percent market share within the category. With Applebee’s, Olive Garden and Chili’s shedding market share in the Latest Year, Buffalo Wild Wings may be poised to climb in the ranking next year.
In the LSR/Burger segment, McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., White Castle and Checkers lost market share, but most of the others in the segment gained ground. In the battle for the No. 2 slot, Burger King, with 11.9 percent market share in the Latest Year, widened the gap with competitor Wendy’s, at 11.7 percent market share.
Most market share growth in the LSR/Specialty category came from category leader Panda Express, which gained more than 2 percentage points in the Latest Year, although Noodles & Company also saw growth. Both Captain D’s and Long John Silver’s lost ground, despite rebranding efforts by both brands. Still, Captain D’s, which has had success expanding its grilled seafood platform, grew systemwide sales more than 6 percent in the Latest Year. Long John Silver’s, however, saw sales decline almost 8 percent.
Costco vs. Target
Market share for the In-Store category remained flat, reflecting gains by Costco that were offset by a loss by Target Cafe. The Target retail chain has been converting some of its cafes to outside brands, like Freshii or Pizza Hut.
Step up for IHOP
It was a mixed bag in the Family-Dining category, with losses by Golden Corral, Bob Evans Restaurants and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery bringing down the segment. Category leader IHOP gained ground in part by growing Estimated Sales Per Unit 6.2 percent in the Latest Year. The chain’s unit count also rose.
Pizza Hut threat
Domino’s Pizza continued to nibble market share from category leader Pizza Hut. At No. 2, Domino’s gained a whopping 2.1 percentage points in the Latest Year, to 24 percent. Pizza Hut, meanwhile, lost 1.2 percentage points, although it remains well ahead in the market share ranking, with 29 percent. The only other pizza player in the category to gain ground was Marco’s Pizza.
Subway has the dubious distinction of being the only LSR/Sandwich player to lose market share in the Latest Year, shedding more than 3 percentage points, to 59.2 percent. The decline could be blamed in part on unit-count shrinkage for the sandwich giant, which put growth on hold in the Latest Year to focus on sales.
It was a year of market share growth for chains in the Beverage-Snack, Pizza, Chicken, LSR/Mexican, C-store, Bakery-Cafe and Limited Service/Specialty categories. Explore this gallery to get to a look inside key market share battles within the foodservice industry.
Regional C-store gains
National C-store chains 7-Eleven and Circle K lost market share to regional chains Wawa, Casey’s General Store and Sheetz. The regional chains have been innovating with fresh foods including pizza and sandwiches.
In the three-player Bakery-Café world, only Einstein Bros. Bagels saw market share decline in the Latest Year. The chain closed 39 underperforming units following an acquisition by JAB Holding Co. in 2014. Category leader Panera Bread turned its loss in the Preceding Year to a gain as it rolled out technology-focused Panera 2.0 conversions, along with marketing a fresh menu free of artificial ingredients.