How are QSR brands fairing now? Upcoming research sheds light on customer sentiment since the arrival of COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world as we know it. Consumers are living differently, buying differently, and in several ways thinking differently. A new, large-scale consumer study conducted by Market Force Information is coming to reveal where these differences are, and how brands within the QSR industry can react.

At present, some brands have continued to win with consumers, while others who were doing everything right now find themselves on the losing side of the equation.

Roughly a year removed from the start of COVID, brands are starting to discuss what’s next? The pandemic has brought tremendous changes in supply chains, required new safety and health procedures, and—most importantly—shifted consumer preferences. Customers placing high importance on sanitation measures and digital customer experience offered a new, albeit short-lived, competitive advantage for brands who were early adopters of new technology. In the initial stages of the pandemic, the QSR brands that offered consumers safe experiences with digital alternatives and no-contact options bested competitors, but those dynamics shifted again as the rest of the industry caught up. At present, some brands have continued to win with consumers, while others who were doing everything right now find themselves on the losing side of the equation.    

The most powerful success metric for QSR brands has changed. Why guests chose one restaurant over another has transformed into a dynamic scenario defined by visit satisfaction, and brand trust, each playing off the other across the lifetime of the consumer’s engagement. There are clear winners and losers, and those that failed to adapt are now finding themselves struggling to retain market share.

A new, large-scale consumer study conducted by Market Force Information (Market Force) will reveal consumers' perception of major quick-service restaurant (QSR) chains in seven popular food categories: burgers, sandwiches, Mexican, pizza, chicken, coffee, and bakery, and frozen dessert and smoothie. More than 9,500 consumers were polled for the study, which ranks the brands on three factors –consumers’ satisfaction with their most recent visit, likelihood to return, and trust in the brand. The study also uncovers consumers’ changing habits, brand preferences, delivery trends, and use of new technology.

In 2019 the study found In-N-Out was still America’s favorite burger chain, Jersey Mike’s ranked tops for sandwiches, Chipotle for Mexican food, Blaze for pizza, Chick-fil-A for chicken, Krispy Kreme for coffee and bakery, and Culver’s for frozen desserts and smoothies. Chick-fil-A earned the highest scores across all categories, making it America’s favorite QSR.

Are those brands still holding the top spot for consumers today? Market Force is set to release the results at the end of April 2021. Sign up for premier access today at http://www.marketforce.com/qsrpanel.

About Market Force Information
Market Force Information® is a customer experience (CX) and employee engagement (EX) management company that provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, employee engagement surveys, mystery shopping, contact center services and social media review tracking, which are integrated into one technology and analytics platform, KnowledgeForce®. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It serves more than 200 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including restaurants, major retailers, grocery and drug stores, petro/convenience stores, banking & financial institutions and entertainment brands. The company has been recognized as one of the top 50 market research organizations in the AMA Gold Report. For more information about Market Force, please visit us online at http://www.marketforce.com.

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Shavon Knight
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