New survey explores fast-food preferences
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New survey explores fast-food preferences

New survey explores fast-food preferences

QSR guests are creatures of habit, and most prefer to get their fast food from a drive-thru, according to new research. Creative Realities surveyed 600 U.S. adults about their ordering habits and tallied the results.

Old habits die hard: 57% of those surveyed said they have a few different go-to items they order each time they go to specific restaurants, and 30% order the same thing every time. Only 13% go to a QSR without an idea of what to order.

Drive-thrus continue to dominate: 52% of respondents said they most frequently order through the drive-thru. Ordering via app follows with 18%, 15% order inside at a counter, 3% order inside but at a kiosk, and 11% said where they place their order varies.

Special imagery and exclusives inspire order changes: 51% say that great imagery will cause them to linger a little longer on the menu, and 86% said a limited-time offer or promotion could affect their order. Additionally, more than 90% said a seasonal special will get them to consider revisiting a restaurant.

Brand loyalty matters: 66% said they either have a favorite restaurant they stick with or will occasionally try others. In addition, 35% found their favorite restaurant more than 5 years ago, and 30% have had the same favorite restaurant since childhood.

Opinions also matter:  Across all age groups, a full quarter of respondents said that hearing about a new menu item through word of mouth is enough to get them to try it. These numbers shift slightly when broken down by age groups:

• Ages 18–24: 24%

• Ages 25–34: 20%

• Ages 35–44: 25%

• Ages 45–54: 27%

• Ages 54+: 28%

Social media influences: 37% of respondents 18 to 24 said social media is most influential in getting them to try something new on a menu. Millennials also showed a taste for social media, with a quarter responding that they prefer it over other means of influence, such as in-store signage or word of mouth.

For more stats and insights, click here for the full report.

Published: November 20th, 2023

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