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Fast Food. Quick Serve. The very names of the industry describe the focus on speed. So we’d all be forgiven if we guessed that the most important criteria for consumers when picking a fast food restaurant was either speed or price. With the prevalence of special ‘meal deals’ abounding, price certainly brings us in to many chains.

But if a recent Market Force survey is to be believed, food quality actually trumps all other criteria. In late December, Market Force fielded a survey among its independent contractor shopper base of consumers, and asked them to pick their favorite quick serve restaurant chain, and then say why. Eight out of 10 said the quality of the food was the reason their favorite restaurant excelled. Speed of service came in with 53% of the votes, and overall value (read=$price) came in third, with 50% of the votes. Check out the results below:

In what areas do you think this restaurant excels?

  • Quality of the food: 79%
  • Speed of Service: 53%
  • Overall value: 50%
  • Friendly service: 46%
  • Cleanliness: 44%
  • Healthy Choices: 32%
  • Atmosphere: 28%
  • Accommodating Children: 18%
  • Other: 5%
  • Green/Sustainable Policies: 4%

Those findings really are heartening. It really is the food that keeps us coming back for more.


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Janet Eden-Harris
Janet Eden-Harris is the CMO and SVP of Strategy for Market Force Information. She joined Market Force from J.D. Power and Associates, where she was VP of its Web Intelligence unit.
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