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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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QSR and Casual Dining Trends and Hot Topics

Sandelman generates quick-service restaurant and casual dining trend reports to help customers keep on top of consumer habits, attitudes, and trends in order to make the best decisions for their business. From customer satisfaction and advertising awareness to analysis of buying habits and consumer trust, Sandelman provides the answers your chain needs. Order these valuable reports today by checking next to each report you need, filling out "Report Contact Information" at the bottom of the screen, and hitting "Please contact me regarding the selected reports".

QSR Customer Satisfaction

Sandelman's Quick-Track study monitors overall fast-food customer satisfaction and customer satisfaction attributes in more than 90 U.S. markets a year.

$10,000

Sandelman analysts develop a comprehensive annual report to help restaurant chain clients better understand how they're perceived by users as well as their strengths and weaknesses relative to competitors. This report is also the source for Sandelman's annual Quick-Track® Awards of Excellence and many clients find it valuable to publicize and promote their brand's standing in this report. The 17th annual report provides overall satisfaction scores and rankings for 127 quick-service restaurant chains and broad customer satisfaction ratings for 83 chains.


$500

QSR users are motivated by many factors when making fast-food decisions – many of them obvious and straight-forward, such as taste of the food, location, prices, and speed of service.

But there are also some underlying considerations which are less obvious but strongly at work when consumers make dining choices. Restaurant Trust is one of these less tangible characteristics. The objective of this module was to provide a deeper understanding of the specific factors that lead consumers to either trust or distrust a chain. Respondents were asked to identify the factors they consider when rating chains on being "A Restaurant I Trust". Following that, respondents were also asked the reasons for distrusting select chains.

At a time when certain prominent QSR chains are losing trust with consumers, and frequently in the news with multiple public health scares, it is more important than ever for your QSR chain to understand how and why consumers do (or don’t) trust a brand. Order this report to reach a greater understanding of this issue.

QSR Hot Topics


$500

The Social Media landscape is continually shifting with new platforms, new functions, and new features emerging. To stay relevant, restaurants need to understand the social media habits and motivations of their target customers. The Social Media Special Report discusses which platforms are popular, which are fading, and which demographics are using them. This knowledge can help marketers tune their digital strategies to most effectively attract and retain customers.


$500

Consumers seem to be seeking flexibility, customization, and mobility when it comes to preferred media, just as they seek those traits when making dining decisions. QSR chains must stay tuned in to consumers’ evolving media habits in order connect with them where their eyes and ears are. Order the Media Habits Special Report today to find out how your customers consume media, which platforms are most popular, and where & how they report encountering fast food advertising!


$500

In the last few months of the 2016 study, respondents in 13 media markets were asked a series of special questions related to pie. Order this report today to find out more about customer habits when considering pie as a dessert option!


$500

Consumers are increasingly considering facility appeal as a factor in dining decisions. The investment that many chains are putting into this area is likely helping to raise the bar on consumer expectations.

To better understand attitudes and behaviors regarding QSR renovations, Sandelman added a series of questions to the Q2 2016 Quick-Track study in select markets. Order this report today to better understand these consumer attitudes and what customers really notice when it comes to renovations.


$500

Alcohol sales are a substantial concern for casual dining restaurants, and it is important to understand the consumer mindset when it comes to choosing a restaurant for drinks. For the 1H 2016 Casual-Track study respondents in selected markets were asked a series of special questions related to alcohol offerings and usage at casual dining restaurants. Issues discussed include the importance of pricing, atmosphere, frequency, and the factors that go into what consumers prefer to drink and why. Order this special report today for a detailed account of these findings and more!


$500

Recent advances in technology and the expanding competitive landscape is influencing a growing number of fast-food chains to launch new or improved loyalty/reward programs.

To better understand attitudes and behaviors regarding loyalty/rewards programs, Sandelman added a series of questions to the Q2 2016 Quick-Track study focusing on this topic in May. The following is a recap of those findings.


$500

With options ranging from chicken and meatloaf to pizza, sushi and deli sandwiches, grocery stores are evolving their culinary horizons in direct pursuit of the foodservice dollar while touting the convenience of retail for additional non-RTE purchases.

To better understand attitudes and behaviors regarding prepared food and RTE meals, Sandelman added a series of questions to Quick-Track in February 2016 for web respondents in 20 markets. Order this report today for a recap of those findings.


$500

In many markets, the QSR category has been stagnant for several quarters. Even still, some chains continue to expand (and emerging chains are entering new markets) while other chains have been forced to shutter units. This report details which QSR users are noticing chain closures and new restaurant openings and how the change in chain count affects their QSR visits.


$500

Emerging fast-casual chains are taking a bite out of traffic from legacy fast-food chains as well as from casual-dining restaurants. Within counter service, fast-casual chains accounted for only about 5% of visits a decade ago. In 2015, tracked fast-casual chains accounted for 16% of all quick-service occasions. This report takes a look at which CDR users are visiting both casual dining and fast-casual chains, how those CDR users compare the two on a variety of attributes, and which aspects of the experience are influencing them at lunch and dinner. Order this report today to better defend your CDR against fast-casual chain encroachment.


$500

Over the last several years, the QSR industry has witnessed the rise and evolution of food trucks from their humble beginnings as the iconic hot dog carts and mobile vending trucks (a.k.a. Roach Coach) offering tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare, to the present day plethora of gourmet-inspired food truck options.

Food trucks once only appearing at fairs, on sidewalks outside downtown offices, or construction sites can now be found outside airports, schools, markets, parks and many other places where people gather. In addition, the popularity of food trucks has expanded not only to special events such as weddings, school dances, birthday parties, but also to bars, clubs, wineries and craft breweries.

To better understand attitudes and behaviors regarding food trucks as a dining option, Sandelman added a series of questions to the Q4 2015 Quick-Track study in select markets. Order this report today to better understand this trend.


$500

Though the importance of kid appeal has dipped a bit in recent years, it remains a key consideration to QSR consumers who are parents. In Q1 2015, Sandelman added questions to its Quick-Track study in 12 markets to ascertain how important kid appeal is, how importance differs depending on age of children in the household, key considerations, how QSR brands could elevate kid appeal and the reasons some users consider kid appeal less often. Order your report today to help win over QSR parents.


$500

In Q1 2015 Quick-Track, Sandelman asked respondents to rate 15 additional attributes in terms of importance, including freshness of ingredients, organic ingredients, humane farming practices, safe handling of food, availability of vegetarian items, visible food preparation and ability to prepare food at your direction. Safe handling of food and ingredient freshness were rated most important. Order today to learn what else customers truly find important in their QSR chain choice.


$500

If you’d like to know more about QSR mobile application awareness and download rates, Sandelman sought answers in its Q1 2015 Quick-Track study. Respondents in a dozen U.S. markets were asked a series of special questions related to mobile apps of selected restaurant chains. The report illustrates how awareness and download rates differ by age and gender as well as who is most likely to download apps in the future.

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QSR Service Modes In-Depth

To obtain timely information for our clients about hot foodservice topics, Sandelman regularly adds custom questions to its Quick-Track and Casual-Track studies. Topics range from health, nutrition and government regulation to food safety and the economy.

$500

In recent years, QSR users granted a greater share of their occasions to carry-out in part due to the expansion of fast-casual chains that don’t offer drive-thru. In order to better understand the consumer perspective of QSR carry-out motivations, expectations and item suitability, Sandelman added a series of questions to the Q3 2015 Quick-Track study in select markets. The questions covered current carry-out habits as well as consumer expectations, motivations and barriers with respect to carrying-out from fast-food restaurants. Order this report today to find out what is driving this trend!


$500

As fast-food restaurant chains try to increase or at least sustain sales in the tepid QSR category, they are looking hard at ways to make themselves not only more appealing but also more accessible to consumers. Consequently, in recent months, a spate of chains has announced plans to offer delivery, often relying on third party services like Door Dash and Post Mates. In order to better understand delivery as a QSR service mode from a consumer perspective, a series of questions was added to the Q3 2015 Quick-Track study in select markets. The questions covered current delivery habits as well as consumer expectations, motivations and barriers with respect to fast-food delivery. Order this report today to find out what consumers are saying!


$500

In the slow-growing QSR category, fast-food restaurants continue to look for ways to steal share and increase sales. Over the past year trade publications have been reporting on a number of fast-food chains who are currently or planning to remodel/reimage their restaurants in an effort to build business and enhance the experience by luring customers inside.

In order to better understand eat-in behavior from a consumer perspective, a series of questions were added to the Q3 2015 Quick-Track study in select markets. The questions covered current eat-in habits as well as consumer motivations and barriers with respect to dining inside a fast food restaurant. Order this report today to find out what we discovered!


$500

Drive-thrus have a long, strong association with fast-food restaurants. To this day, the car culture and consumer desire for speedy service and convenience has kept drive-thru the most frequently selected service mode, leading some chains to even add double-drive-thrus to keep up with the demand. In addition, the popularity of drive-thrus has had great influence on other aspects of the business including ordering technology, menu development, and packaging.

The objective of this study was to provide a deeper understanding with respect to motivations, barriers and expectations related to drive-thrus. Order this report today to help optimize the experience for your consumers as well as optimize the contribution that drive-thrus can bring to your overall operations.

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