Q4 Trends Report: New Ordering, Food & Drink Trends, Tipping Data

Uncover Q4 Trends Report, Food & Drink Trends, and tipping insights in this concise report summary. Explore the latest trends shaping the restaurant industry.


4/8/20242 min read

Q4 Trends Report
Q4 Trends Report

The Q4 2023 Restaurant Trends report checked out how restaurants were doing around the holidays, big events, what people were eating and drinking when it was cold, and how much they tipped each week.

In Boston, MA, Toast, a digital platform for restaurants, shared its Q4 2023 Restaurant Trends Report. It looked at data from about 106,000 restaurants across the US.

Food & Drink Trends

To see what people were eating and drinking in Q4 2023, Toast looked at what customers ordered. They found out that people weren't ordering salads or hard seltzers much.

When it got colder in Q4, people liked to order warm foods more. Soups and stews were the most popular, followed by ramen, curry, dumplings, steak, and rice. But salads, bowls, and tacos weren't as popular during this time.

As for drinks, people ordered more whiskey, wine, vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and beer. But hard cider and hard seltzer weren't as popular, especially hard seltzer which saw a big drop.

When food is served

Q4 is a busy time for parties and events, so catering orders are up significantly compared to last year. Bakery, coffee, tea and sweets were the main orders at their events. Food orders tended to peak around holidays like New Year’s Eve.

People also reported more food orders during the holidays, with the highest level of advice happening on New Year’s Eve.

Party time

Holiday parties of eight or more people are up in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago. The busiest day of these parties was December 9th.

Most of these parties were held on weekends, especially Sundays. There was a big spike in the first few weeks of December, but fewer parties around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tipping Trends

Overall, the advice will be flat in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, which is positive for the restaurant industry. The advisories were highest on Wednesday and lowest on Sunday. Tips increased during the holidays, especially Christmas Eve.

People in different provinces perceived tipping habits differently. Full-service restaurants in New Hampshire received the most tips, while fast-casual restaurants received the most in West Virginia.

Toast’s Restaurant Trends Report helps provide an overview of trends in the restaurant industry, but individual results may vary. For more information visit https://pos.toasttab.com/

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