, UK

Fast food menu structure: The averages and extremes of item counts

Most fast-food restaurants refresh at least 50% of their menu items annually.

A typical fast-food chain menu includes approximately 202 items, with 44 dedicated to beverages and 158 offering meal choices.  Amongst the various fast-food options, pizza delivery services stand out with an extensive selection of 315 menu items.  They are followed by sandwich shops, offering 221 items, coffee shops with 176 offerings, chicken shops providing 169 items, and burger outlets with the lowest average count of 129 items.

The primary reason for the high number of menu items offered by pizza delivery outlets is the multitude of size options for similar items, such as personal, small, medium, and large pizzas.  Nonetheless, out of the 315 items typically found on their menu, only 158 are unique.

When it comes to the distinction of having the most unique menu assortment, bakery and sandwich shops take the lead with 194 unique items. Chicken Shops, on the other hand, have the smallest assortment of unique items, with only 100 out of 169.

Most fast-food restaurants refresh at least 50% of their menu items annually, primarily driven by seasonal offerings and "Limited Time Offers" (LTOs). Coffee shops exhibit the highest menu turnover, especially in their food assortment, with a turnover rate of 96%. 

They follow a distinct seasonal pattern, offering flavoured Frappuccinos, frappes, and lemonades in the summer, pumpkin-flavoured items in the autumn, and gingerbread and toffee during the holiday season.  In contrast, chicken fast-food chains have the lowest menu turnover, at 10% annually.

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