Recent demographic analysis from Technomic finds that the typical quick-service restaurant customer is Caucasian, between 25 and 34 years old, accompanied by his spouse or significant other, and is likely dining in the restaurant.
The research surveyed nearly 38,000 consumers for Technomic's "Understanding quick-service restaurants and their customers market intelligence report."
"The quick-service restaurant segment includes some of the largest and most innovative companies in the U.S., as well as some interesting up-and-comers," said Darren Tristano, Technomic executive vice president. "But at the same time, increasing competition means that it's more important than ever to understand what consumers value about fast food and where QSRs have opportunities to improve."
Technomic's study asked consumers to rate the importance of certain attributes when deciding which QSR to visit. Based on initial survey analysis, Technomic ranked the top attribute categories.
Attribute importance ranking
(Percentage of consumers giving a top two box rating, based on a 1-5 scale where 1 = not important and 5 = very important)
- Food, 91 percent;
- Cleanliness, 88 percent;
- Service, 86 percent;
- Value, 84 percent;
- Beverage, 78 percent; and
- Atmosphere, 61 percent.
Leading chains in each attribute
(Top five, in alphabetical order)
Food: Chick-fil-A, Culver's, Golden Corral, Jamba Juice, Papa Murphy's.
Cleanliness: Chick-fil-A, Cold Stone Creamery, Culver's, In-N-Out Burger, Papa Murphy's.
Service: Chick-fil-A, Culver's, In-N-Out Burger, Krispy Kreme, Papa Murphy's.
Value: Chick-fil-A, CiCi's Pizza, In-N-Out Burger, Krispy Kreme, Papa Murphy's.
Beverage: Caribou Coffee, Chick-fil-A, Jamba Juice, Old Country Buffet/HomeTown Buffet, Starbucks.
Atmosphere: Caribou Coffee, Chick-fil-A, Cold Stone Creamery, Culver's, Starbucks.
The first in a new series of related segment-specific reports, "Understanding quick-service restaurants and their customers" examines the demographic composition, behavior and attitudes of quick-service restaurant consumers. The report is powered by Technomic's Consumer Restaurant Brand Metrics program, a study that demonstrates how consumers rate the importance of about 50 restaurant attributes regarding food, service, atmosphere, value, convenience, reputation and more, as well as the performance of 52 leading quick-service chains on these attributes.
Other findings include:
- 82 percent of QSR consumers rate the food quality at their recent visits as good or very good;
- QSR patronage tends to peak with the 25 to 34 age group, then decrease with each age cohort;
- Consumers form opinions about products and services whether they have had first-hand experience or not. Sixty-six percent of consumers feel that the average QSR is good or very good at emotional connection and 58 percent say the same of brand image;
- Consumers give QSRs an average rating of 56 percent for advertising effectiveness, but those numbers range from a high of 69 percent who believe the top chain is good or very good to a low of just 33 percent; and
- Eight out of 10 consumers say they are willing to recommend the quick-service restaurant they rated to friends and family.
Read more about trends and statistics.