Gain a fresh perspective on the foodservice sandwich and burger market and consumer with this extensive report. Below, we provide the report scope, summarize the key topics covered, and offer handpicked insights from the report itself.

Report Scope

This Report focuses on consumer attitudes and dining behavior, market trends, and culinary preferences in sandwich and burger restaurants. Specifically, it examines limited-service restaurants (LSRs), which include both quick-service restaurants (QSRs) or fast food, and fast casual restaurants. The report exclusively covers LSRs, such as sandwich-specific chains (e.g., Subway, Arby’s, Quiznos), burger restaurants, and bakery/café restaurants (e.g., Panera Bread).

Key Topics Covered

  • Consumer interest in sandwich/burger styles, breads, toppings and ingredients.
  • Innovation interest in sandwich/burger offerings.
  • Consumer association with and attitudes toward sandwiches/burgers.
  • Incentives/promotional offers to drive sandwich/burger sales.

Restaurant Market Overview

Restaurant prices are rising faster than grocery prices. This is putting pressure on consumers to dine out less, as nearly half state that they are, due to inflation (see our Restaurant Value and Pricing 2023 Report). Operators must be nimble to respond effectively. In light of this, it’s important to formulate pricing strategies that keep patrons interested. Value offers. Promotional incentives, rewards programs, and a variety of sides/meal combos can help operators drive growth.

Foodservice Burger/Sandwich Opportunities

In this highly competitive market, operators must appeal to consumer preferences to stand out. Below, we provide two quick ways to leverage what real consumers demand.

  • With 40% of consumers interested in regionally-inspired flavor offerings when it comes to burgers/sandwiches (Mintel research), operators can appeal by bringing forward unique, bold flavor combinations. One successful example of this is in Shake Shack’s collaboration with Chef Nina Compton, where they featured flavors of New Orleans and the Caribbean, showcasing regional collaboration.
  • 41% of survey respondents are ordering sandwiches less often than last year because they are making them at home. Operators must go above and beyond through variety.  Toppings, breads, and premium upgrades alongside fresh, made-to-order preparations and promotions that trump what consumers can make at home easily will appeal.

This report enables you to speak to your customers directly by responding to what they want from sandwiches and burgers in foodservice. Buy the full report to accelerate your business today. Alternatively, browse our extensive library of foodservice market research.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis

Leading fooservice analyst Pooja Lal delivers in-depth commentary and analysis of the US foodservice sandwiches and burgers industry, adding expert context to the numbers.

Sandwiches and burgers have long provided versatile options on menus, offering customization and elevated ingredients to keep consumers engaged. Operators must hone in on the attributes these mainstay menu items offer, especially those surrounding quality, freshness, affordability, and convenience. Further engaging with consumers through loyalty rewards and promotional activity will keep patrons returning for more.

Pooja Lal, Foodservice Analyst, Mintel Menu Insights


Pooja Lal
US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Consumer trends
    • Competitive strategies
    • Opportunities
    • Premium ingredients offer a sense of quality
      • Figure 1: Premium topping preferences, 2023
    • Connect with consumers through enticing promotions
      • Figure 2: Interest in burger/sandwich discounts, 2023
    • Unique offerings make sandwich shops stand out
      • Figure 3: Sandwich preferences, 2023
    • Beef drives appeal on burger menus
      • Figure 4: Burger preferences, 2023
  3. Market Factors

    • Operators must deliver on value to win consumers over
      • Figure 5: Value behaviors, 2023
    • Burgers/sandwiches can capitalize on the lunchtime daypart
      • Figure 6: Lunch sources, 2023
    • Sandwich and burger LTOs make a comeback
      • Figure 7: Mintel LTO Tracker, Sandwiches and Burgers, 2022
  4. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Wingstop launches chicken sandwich line-up as flavor experts
      • Figure 8: Wingstop Mango Habanero Chicken Sandwich, 2023
    • Panera offers exclusive merchandise to rewards members
      • Figure 9: MyPanera Week Online Store, 2023
    • Cross-marketing offers collaboration opportunities for brands
      • Figure 10: Nina Compton/Tabasco/Shake Shack Jazz-Fest-inspired culinary experience, 2023
    • Fast food chains elevate menus with premium offerings
      • Figure 11: Jack in the Box premium burger LTO, 2023
    • Subway brings back footlong pass
      • Figure 12: Subway Footlong Subscription
    • Brands capitalize on themed events
      • Figure 13: Carl’s Jr. CBD-infused cheeseburger
    • Veggie Shack shakes up plant-based
      • Figure 14: Shake Shack Veggie Shack launch, 2023
  5. The Sandwich/Burger Consumer – Fast Facts

    • Leverage bold flavors to compete against diverse cuisines and competition
    • Make AFH sandwiches/burgers stand out with unique offerings
    • Highlight the convenience and value of sandwiches and burgers
  6. Sandwich/Burger Restaurant Visitation

    • LSRs are a top sandwich destination
      • Figure 15: Types of restaurants where sandwiches have been ordered in past three months, 2023
    • Consumers seek quick, convenient and affordable burger experiences
      • Figure 16: Types of restaurants where sandwiches/burger have been ordered in past three months, 2023
  7. Frequency of Ordering

    • AFH sandwich ordering holds steady
      • Figure 17: Frequency of ordering sandwiches, 2023
      • Figure 18: Reasons for decreased ordering of sandwiches, 2023
    • Men are ordering sandwiches more compared to a year ago
      • Figure 19: Frequency of ordering sandwiches, by gender, 2023
    • Gen X and older are ordering sandwiches less
      • Figure 20: Frequency of ordering sandwiches, by generation, 2023
    • Consumers are split on burger occasions
      • Figure 21: Frequency of ordering burgers, 2023
      • Figure 22: Reasons for decreased ordering of burgers, 2023
    • Burger order frequency plummeting with older consumers
      • Figure 23: Frequency of ordering burgers, by generation, 2023
  8. Sandwich Preferences

    • Differentiate from at-home sandwiches
      • Figure 24: Sandwich preferences, 2023
    • Women appreciate customizable bread
      • Figure 25: Sandwich preferences, by gender, 2023
    • Chicken sandwiches are a crowd pleaser
      • Figure 26: Sandwich preferences, by generation, 2023
  9. Burger Preferences

    • Beef is king
      • Figure 27: Burger preferences, 2023
    • Gen X and older stick to traditional burger offerings
      • Figure 28: Burger preferences, by generation, 2023
    • Appealing IngredientsUnique proteins entice parents
      • Figure 29: Burger preferences, by parental status, 2023
    • Bacon adds flavor and comfort
      • Figure 30: Premium topping preferences, 2023
    • Millennials opt for premium ingredients that deliver on texture and taste
      • Figure 31: Premium topping preferences, by generation, 2023
  10. Appealing Ingredients

    • Premiumization conveys value
      • Figure 32: Appealing ingredients, 2023
    • Call-out unique ingredients to captivate female diners
      • Figure 33: Appealing ingredients, by gender, 2023
    • Get Millennials excited with out-of-the-box menu items
      • Figure 34: Appealing ingredients, by generation, 2023
    • Parents want more flavorful burger/sandwich combinations
      • Figure 35: Appealing ingredients, by parental status, 2023
  11. Interest in Discounts

    • BOGOs promote trial of new offerings
      • Figure 36: Interest in discounts, 2023
    • Loyalty leans older
      • Figure 37: Interest in discounts, by generation, 2023
  12. Burger/Sandwich Attitudes

    • Short on time call for short on quality
      • Figure 38: Burger/sandwich attitudes, 2023
    • Women seek healthier alternatives and options on menus
      • Figure 39: Burger/sandwich attitudes, 2023
    • Digital ordering and delivery for younger diners
      • Figure 40: Burger/sandwich attitudes, by generation, 2023
    • Parents are willing to pay for enhanced offerings and convenience
      • Figure 41: Burger/sandwich attitudes, by parental status, 2023
  13. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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