In February 2017 Market Force conducted research with restaurant guests about their most recent dining experience at a QSR or fast casual restaurant. Over 11,000 US restaurant guests responded to the research, providing information about their experiences dining at 70 brands in seven different sectors. What did guests have to say?

App adoption has increased markedly. In 2015, only 11% of guests placed an order using an app. In 2017, that increased to 30%. While younger generations have overall higher app usage, the increase in app adoption spanned all age groups. In addition, 31% of all guests paid for their meal using an app.

Overall satisfaction with the dining experience varied widely by sector, with the burger sector having the lowest satisfaction ratings. In this sector, over 1 in 10 guests were dissatisfied with their experience and over 1 in 5 would not recommend the restaurant brand to a friend. In other sectors, about 1 in 10 would not recommend.

In each of the seven sectors, we identified the critical drivers of satisfaction. What matters most differs by sector—but fall into the primary categories of food quality, service speed, staff friendliness, and value received. Our lift models show a typical 80 point difference in satisfaction ratings when drivers are performed poorly vs. well.

Brand level performance is broken out for each critical driver. Brands execute very differently on the drivers—for example, in the chicken sector, 84% of guests gave Chik-fil-A a top box rating of 5 on staff friendliness. The nearest competitor, Raising Cane’s, received a 69%.

The research clearly identifies opportunities for restaurant brands to improve the guest experience—critical to increasing same store comparable sales. To learn more about the research or obtain a copy, please schedule a briefing. To learn more about how Market Force works with brands to improve the guest experience, check out the case studies below.

Five Guys Case Study Mimi's Cafe Case Study El Pollo Loco Case Study

As Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl aligns Market Force's strategic direction with our clients' strategic objectives. She oversees the North American client base, Analytics and Insights, Winnipeg Operations and Marketing. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology and broad business experience in both private and public companies.​