Cafe/Bakery Restaurants are Still Struggling

In today's Insights Briefing webinar, we analyzed the performance of Cafe/Bakery restaurants using all three of our primary data sets: foot traffic, transactions, and our Daily Food Diary syndicated survey. Example chains include major ones like Starbucks, Dunkin', or Panera. There are also many other smaller chains we'll analyze, like Peet's, Corner Bakery Cafe, Einstein Bros Bagels, or Dutch Brothers.
For starters, one of the questions we ask in our Daily Food Diary survey is, what percentage of respondents are stating that they consumed coffee in the day prior?
Throughout the pandemic, the percentage of coffee-drinkers has held pretty steady at around two in five people consuming coffee in any given day.
The actual foot traffic or transaction volume to coffee chains hasn't been constant, but if the amount people drinking coffee on a given day has been constant, then what that suggests is that people have been flexible in trading off between consuming coffee at home versus purchasing it out of the home, and will substitute one for the other based on what their lifestyle allows and how heavily they are quarantining at home.

When we look to understand who is drinking coffee using our Daily Food Diary survey, where do the demographic skews exists?
The main skews that emerge include skewing older, more affluent, Caucasian, and having children in the household - these are the groups of people that are more likely to be drinking coffee at any point in time.
One interesting note is that the demographics in which coffee drinkers over-index all tend to be groups of people who were more likely to shelter in place, work from home, not commute, and decrease restaurant purchasing activity during the pandemic. In this sense, the Cafe/Bakery channel's core consumers experienced especially high lifestyle disruption.

When we look at foot traffic across the entire bar and restaurant market, the Breakfast daypart was impacted the most heavily when the pandemic first began. In other words, visits to restaurants during the morning suffered the biggest declines relative to pre-COVID. Given the importance of the breakfast day part for coffee-focused chains, that is generally a headwind that these restaurant chains face collectively.
This begs the question, does cafe/bakery performance differ by daypart? Or did they struggle more than other restaurant channels just because of their breakfast focus?

Below we look at the cafe/bakery channel, indexed against the rest of the restaurant market. The blue line shows the share of visits during the entire day, and the red line shows share of visits only during breakfast.
And interestingly enough, the foot traffic trends during the entire day, and specifically just during breakfast, were about the same as far as how their market share trended within the restaurant industry as a whole. So what this speaks to is the idea that if coffee chains struggled, they did so during the entire day - not just the breakfast daypart.
Would you like to see the rest of the analysis?
The above is a short excerpt. We also looked at:
  • How foot traffic trended by state
  • Which consumer segments are driving performance changes
  • Which coffee chains are recovering best
Click below to view/download a PDF of the full analysis.