GroundTruth Insights Spotlight: In a Struggling Economy QSRs can Benefit from Understanding Real-World Behavior

QSRs can benefit from understanding the real-world behavior of their customers such as what brands they remain loyal to, which brands they are switching to, what audiences they fall into, and where else they tend to bring their business.

Summer and Fall have come and gone. So now that we’re entering Winter, and slipping deeper into an inflation-induced spending deficit, deal seekers are emerging at a time when consumers are looking to save wherever they can.

The impact of this shift is that loyalty is becoming harder and harder to come by for QSRs when consumers are shifting their buying from experience buying to more of a savings approach. So what brands are QSR restaurant patrons going to and which competitors are they switching to? What audience “type” do these customers fall into?

In the latest QSR Insights Spotlight, we highlight the trends surrounding QSR switchers and the impact they are having on major QSR brands. In our analysis, we see customers are switching their loyalties based on a few key factors: inflation increasing the cost of goods, a general weariness of recession warnings, and a preference for summer favorites such as tacos and sandwiches, and more.

GroundTruth observed visits to over 30 top QSR brands to demonstrate how real-world behavior can help predict marketing trends, inform strategic business decisions, and provide insights into brand loyalty and new customer growth opportunities.

Important insights for marketers:

  • 15% of Chick-Fil-A customers switched to Burger King, while only 4% of Wendy’s customers switched to Burger King
  • McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A audiences are both more likely than average to be seen at Grocery and Convenience stores
  • McDonalds has seen a strong increase of patronage from the Working Moms and Beach Lovers audiences

Our Insight Team’s findings showcase how location insights help predict valuable customer trends, inform strategic business decisions, and provide insights into brand reach and growth opportunities.

Down in the dumps about the lack of QSR loyalty? Here are a few ways QSR marketers can win back customers who are moonlighting with competitor brands:

  • Drive traffic during specific dayparts – Increase traffic to your locations during specific mealtimes.
  • Target value customers – Reach budget conscious customers with special offers, coupons and more.
  • Promote new limited-time offers (LTOs), especially during the holidays – Drive awareness of LTOs and steal share from key competitors by reaching Competitive Loyalists.
  • Understand brand overlap & churn – Understanding the invisible “competitor” presents a tremendous opportunity to slow churn and drive new loyal customer growth.

For more foot traffic stats and consumer trends, check out our latest Lean: Insights Reports to uplevel your marketing and branding strategies. Want more QSR Insights? Check out our latest QSR Insights Brief.