Shopper Insights Study: Close Look at Fast Food Restaurants

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As covered by Nation’s Restaurant NewsNPR’s MarketplaceQSR MagazineForbes, and 100s of other news outlets, the results of a Q4 2015 survey of 1,200 consumers, conducted by retail design firm King Retail Solutions (“KRS”) emphasize the value of consistently great-tasting food, fast and friendly service, fair prices, and a welcoming space (as well as multiple other factors) in operating a quick service restaurant (“QSR”) that’s well-loved by U.S. shoppers.

KRS identified and surveyed over 140 top-rated “Fast Food” restaurants (as categorized by Yelp!) in 24 cities, equally representing six distinct U.S. regions (Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, Rocky, Southeast, and Southwest) around the country. The 1,200 most recent Yelp! reviews (200 from each region) were analyzed. Any pros and cons mentioned were identified and catalogued. The published study, “Close Look at Fast Food Restaurants – What U.S. Shoppers Love Most (and Least) About Their Most-Loved Local and Chain Quick Service Restaurants,” represents the results of that analysis.

The data is further broken down by gender and by region of the U.S.

   – Ex. women site food freshness as a positive quality more frequently than men

   – Ex. While all regions cared most about good food and good service, in that order, ample serving size ranks 
     as a Top 4 most-mentioned “pro” for those in the Rockies and Southeast but does not rank in the Top 4 for 
     any other region of the U.S.

   – Meanwhile, food freshness made the Top 4 only in the Southwest.

The study also breaks out the Top 4 benefits cited by shoppers for some of the top-rated Fast Food chains nationwide, breaking down those qualities by retailer. For example, 24% of their reviewers mentioned large serving size and fast service as benefits of patronizing Five Guys Burgers and Fries while 37% of MOD Pizza’s reviewers mentioned the build-your-own pizza chain’s fast service and fresh ingredients as benefits.

A special sub-report on food trucks looks at the relative difference between how these (often local) restaurants are reviewed versus their brick-and-mortar local counterparts. 11% of the top-rated local fast food restaurants in the survey were found to be food truck operations.

An accompanying article and analysis of the survey results includes a list of ways quick service restaurants large and small can create a “Fast Food” experience shoppers can’t live without (or at least one they would write rave reviews about).

To download this study as a PDF, please complete this brief form.

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