The Pulse: Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs)

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries. 

 

Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are undoubtedly popular in America. Consumers shared their sentiments on which QSRs they prefer, how often they frequent QSRs, their reasons for visiting QSRs and more.  In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel. At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always. Throughout 2022, we will be offering weekly insights by identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.

 

Key Findings as of February 21, 2022:

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If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2022, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at caravaninfo@enginegroup.com for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys was conducted on January 14-16, January 21-23, and January 28-30, 2022. Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer
Category Insights – Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs)

Where Consumers Are Eating and Why

  • How often do you purchase food from QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS?
    • 48% Visit QSRs weekly
      • 55% Gen Z
      • 57% Millennials
      • 59% With children under the age of 18
    • 35% Visit QSRs monthly
      • 36% Gen X
      • 40% Baby Boomers
  • Which QSRs have you visited in the Past 6 months?
    • 84% Burger Chain
      • 82% Gen Z
      • 85% Millennials
      • 87% Gen X
      • 82% Baby Boomers
    • 60% Deli/Sub Sandwich Chain
      • 55% Gen Z
      • 58% Millennials
      • 63% Gen X
      • 60% Baby Boomers
    • 58% Fried Chicken Chain
      • 67% Gen Z
      • 61% Millennials
      • 57% Gen X
      • 53% Baby Boomers
    • 52% Mexican Chain
      • 59% Gen Z
      • 59% Millennials
      • 55% Gen X
      • 40% Baby Boomers
    • 51% Pizza Chain
      • 53% Gen Z
      • 58% Millennials
      • 52% Gen X
      • 43% Baby Boomers
  • Top 10 QSRs visited in the past 6 months
    • 60% McDonalds
    • 39% Taco Bell
    • 38% Burger King
    • 36% Wendy’s
    • 33% Subway
    • 31% Chick-fil-A
    • 28% Starbucks
    • 25% KFC
    • 23% Dominos
    • 22% Arby’s
  • What is the reason you typically choose to visit a QSR?
    • 59% Speed of service
    • 40% Do not like to prepare food for themselves
    • 35% Just like the taste of fast food
    • 27% of respondents making an income of 100K+ find QSR convenient as they are usually too busy to cook

What are consumer purchasing habits at QSRs?

  • How much do you estimate that you typically spend when visiting a QSR?
    • 55% expect to spend less than $15
      • 56% of Millennials and 49% of Gen X expect to spend more than 15 dollars a month as they typically have kids, a partner, a significant other or family
  • What is/are your preferred method(s) of purchasing from a QSR?
    • 62% Drive thru
      • 64% Gen X and Baby Boomers prefer the drive through option
    • 27% Order Inside to go
    • 25% Order online for pick up
    • 23% Dine-in
    • 18% Meal-delivery app
      • Consumers making more than 100K are more likely to eat at a QSR

What are their brand preferences?

  • 74% prefer brands that offer traditional meat-based menus
  • 73% would rather buy a brand that has been around for a while
  • 67% prefer brands that my friends and family use
  • 59% would rather get an exciting product from a brand
  • 58% indicated they would pay more for a product that is of higher quality
  • 58% prefer to purchase from brands they want regardless of their stance on social responsibility

What about QSR Ads?

  • Which of the following elements of advertising do you think are MOST APPEALING when it comes to advertising for QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS?
    • 59% featuring food
    • 51% featuring promotions and deals
    • 31% featuring humor/wit