Marketing Spend

Apr 23, 2021 | Report Announcements

  • While U.S. media spend declined -12.9% in 2020 for all industries according to Kantar, the $1B+ chain restaurant industry declined a more modest -5.4% which reflects a -4.5% decline in total systemwide sales and a slight 0.1% decline in aggregate net marketing spend as a % of sales.
  • A sharp decline in marketing spend as a % of sales in casual (dining room capacity constraints lessened the need to advertise) and sub-sandwich (Subway ad contribution abatement) was offset by increased QSR spending and incremental franchisor contributions.
  • The effectiveness of traditional TV ads continues to decline as fewer consumers watch live TV, opting instead for Netflix, social media, Internet video and gaming.
  • A decline in traditional TV ad spend was partially offset by an increase in more cost-effective digital marketing which helped drive significant growth in digital sales mix.
  • 6 chains switched creative ad agencies over the last 12 months (Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, Domino’s, Jimmy John’s, Panera & Popeyes).


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