American fast food corporation Yum Brands launched a series of initiatives to speed up its digitalisation process during 2020. As a result, the brands they operate, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill and WingStreet have each recorded a significant increase in digital sales.
Despite restrictions caused by the global pandemic, Yum Brands’ earnings for the year topped analysts’ estimates. Research and data analysed and published by Stock Apps found that the company’s Q4 2020 revenue grew by 3 percent year-over-year (YoY) to $1.74 billion, higher than the expected $1.7 billion. Digital restaurant market sales as a whole in the US rose by 123.8 percent in 2020 to $44.94 billion.
An NPD Group report revealed that restaurant digital orders in the US shot up by 145 percent YoY in December 2020. By the end of the year, carry-out accounted for 46 percent of off-premises orders and drive-thrus got 44 percent.
One of Yum Brands’ digital initiatives included a new eCommerce ecosystem for KFC which streamlined off-premises order handling. The initiative saw transaction times at the window reduce by 16 seconds in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019.
The Habit Burger Grill added curbside pick up, which accounted for 10 percent of all sales and 50 percent of mobile sales, while Taco Bell saw drive thru times drop below four minutes. Thanks to these investments, Pizza Hut had an 18 percent growth in same-store sales from off-premise channels. Taco Bell recorded a 12 percent digital sales mix while The Habit had a 40 percent sales mix from its digital platform.
McDonalds also benefitted from a shift to digital in 2020, generating $10 billion from online sales across its top six markets. This accounted for 20 percent of the company’s total annual sales.
According to eMarketer, digital restaurant market sales in the US is projected to increase by 22.3 percent in 2021 to $54.97 billion. By 2025, digital sales will account for 54 percent of limited and quick service restaurant business according to a study by Incisiv.