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Quick Service Restaurants - US - August 2013

“Operators are struggling with the need to provide low prices at a time when commodity costs are quickly increasing. Quick service restaurants must wean consumers off the idea of price and provide extra value in order to justify increases. Since many customers are beginning to seek a more upscale and healthful fast casual experience, fast food restaurants have been changing to better align with those competencies. However, with this move, it is important to continue to meet the needs of the no-frills customers that still value speed and price above all else.”

– Bethany Wall, Foodservice Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How do quick serves compete on price, even as costs rise?
  • How can quick serves answer to the threat of fast casuals?
  • How can operators capitalize on the aspects of QSR that consumers value most?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • Market size
                        • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales of quick service restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                      • Market drivers
                        • Opportunities
                          • Marketing strategies
                            • Menu analysis
                              • Figure 2: Segment breakdown of food menu items at restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                              • Figure 3: Menu breakdown of food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                            • The consumer
                              • Figure 4: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by gender, May 2013
                              • Figure 5: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by gender, May 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • Quick serves compete on price, even as costs rise
                                  • The issues
                                    • The implications
                                      • Quick serves answer to the threat of fast casuals
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • Capitalizing on the aspects of QSR that consumers value most
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                • Innovators and Innovations – Pricing

                                                    • Pricing strategies
                                                      • Dollar and Value Menus
                                                        • Limited time offers
                                                        • Innovators and Innovations – Fast Casualization

                                                            • Better-For-You alternatives are attractive to consumers
                                                              • Customization creates upscale items at low cost
                                                                • Gourmet items for sophisticated consumers
                                                                  • Salads and wraps highlight fresh ingredients
                                                                    • Upscale breads, upscale image
                                                                      • Remodeling
                                                                        • Transparency
                                                                        • Innovators and Innovations: Core Competencies

                                                                            • Standing out during breakfast
                                                                              • Kids’ offerings: Healthful and fun
                                                                                • Late night daypart
                                                                                  • Menu variety appeals to consumers
                                                                                    • Co-branding taps into the familiar
                                                                                      • Crowdsourcing reaches core consumers
                                                                                        • LTO beverages help drive interest
                                                                                        • Enticing Consumers with Technology

                                                                                            • Real-world applications
                                                                                              • Décor makes consumers more comfortable
                                                                                              • Trend Applications

                                                                                                  • Trend: Minimize Me
                                                                                                    • Trend: Experience Is All
                                                                                                      • Mintel Futures: Access Anything, Anywhere
                                                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Market size insight
                                                                                                            • Quick service restaurant sales and forecast
                                                                                                              • Figure 6: Total U.S. retail sales of quick service restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                                              • Figure 7: Total U.S. retail sales of quick service restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                • Figure 8: Total U.S. retail sales of quick service restaurants, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                                                                • Economic indicators
                                                                                                                  • Rising commodity prices
                                                                                                                    • Government legislation
                                                                                                                      • Cultural diversity
                                                                                                                        • Millennials drive usage
                                                                                                                          • Childhood obesity and diabetes
                                                                                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                                                                                              • Grocery stores
                                                                                                                                • Food trucks, kiosks and walk-ups
                                                                                                                                  • Convenience stores
                                                                                                                                    • Fast casual restaurants
                                                                                                                                      • Full-service restaurants
                                                                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                        • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                                                          • Television advertisements
                                                                                                                                            • Arby’s
                                                                                                                                              • Burger King
                                                                                                                                                • McDonald’s
                                                                                                                                                  • Subway
                                                                                                                                                    • Taco Bell
                                                                                                                                                      • Wendy’s
                                                                                                                                                        • Crowdsourcing – the power of consumer feedback
                                                                                                                                                          • Interactive marketing
                                                                                                                                                            • Sweepstakes and contests
                                                                                                                                                              • In-store games
                                                                                                                                                                • Co-branding tie-ins
                                                                                                                                                                  • Endorsements and sponsorships
                                                                                                                                                                    • Causes and charitable programs
                                                                                                                                                                      • Local community involvement
                                                                                                                                                                      • Menu Analysis – Food Items

                                                                                                                                                                        • Segment overview
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 9: Segment breakdown of food menu items at restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                        • Menu section
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 10: Menu breakdown of food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                          • Menu items
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Top 10 food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing claims
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 12: Top 10 marketing claims for food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                              • Nutritional claims
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Top 10 nutritional claims for food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                • Geographical claims
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Top 10 geographical claims for food menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kids’ menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Top 10 kids’ menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Menu Analysis – Drink Items

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Segment overview
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Segment breakdown of beverage menu items at restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Menu items
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Top 10 beverage menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing claims
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Top 10 marketing claims for drink items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nutritional claims
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Top 10 nutritional claims for menu items at quick service restaurants, by incidence, Q1 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Quick Service Restaurant Usage and Dayparts

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Burger concepts are consistently popular throughout all dayparts
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Men are more likely to visit most quick serve types compared to women
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Any daypart usage, by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Young consumers more likely to visit most QSR types and dayparts
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Any daypart usage, by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Middle class visit Mexican and Asian quick serves more than other groups
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Blacks visit chicken concepts more than any other group, while Asians choose Asian, beverage and snack QSRs
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by race, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Any daypart usage, by race, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics more likely than non-Hispanics to use every QSR type
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Any daypart usage, by Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Regional differences emerge in QSR type and daypart preferred
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Any daypart usage, by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Changes in Behavior at Quick Service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers are restricting spending by cooking at home and using deals
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Women are more budget-conscious but seek healthful, upscale items
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Millennials are significant, but trade up to fast casual the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hispanics are looking for increased value in terms of price and quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Drivers for Quick Service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers most interested in on-the-go consumption and drive-thrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Young consumers find low prices and snack items to be most important
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Low-income consumers are willing to sacrifice speed for low prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Blacks seek craveable items, while Asians look for affordable combo meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hispanics are more likely to seek affordable combo meals at quick serves
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Desired Improvements for Quick Service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers seek items with lower calories and higher amounts of produce
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Young consumers want customized smoothies and juices, while older consumers desire smaller items at lower prices
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Low-income consumers seek smoothies and juices, while affluent consumers want healthful items that are low in calories
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Whites and Asians seek healthier items in terms of calories and ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics desire a greater variety of breakfast and coffee selections
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Behavior at Quick Service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers order the same things using to-go or drive-thrus
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Young consumers price sensitive, but seek customization; older consumers most likely to order coffee and breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Low-income consumers visit QSRs due to price and order off dollar menu, middle class use drive-thru, and affluent desire customization
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Blacks use drive-thrus and eat in transit; Asians buy coffee and breakfast
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics buy food and drink at breakfast, choosing QSRs over sit-downs
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Northeasterners like breakfast; Midwesterners create dollar menu meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Attitudes toward Quick Service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Women want upscale, healthful items; men want a better dine-in experience
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by gender, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Young consumers are looking for healthful items and dine-in ambience
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by age, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics view freshness and healthiness as separate food qualities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by Hispanic origin, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Westerners see QSRs as cheap; Northeasterners see QSRs as unhealthful
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Super Users
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fancy Pants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Budget Bills
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Any quick service restaurant usage and dayparts, by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Any daypart usage, by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Consumer behavior at quick service restaurants, by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by target clusters, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Target clusters, by demographic, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Additional Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Any daypart usage, by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by race, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Changes in behavior at quick service restaurants (more), by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Drivers for quick service restaurant visits, by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Desired improvements for quick service restaurants, by region, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by household income, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Consumer attitudes toward quick service restaurants (any agree), by race, May 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer confidence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS), 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Unemployment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: U.S. unemployment rate, by month, 2002-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: U.S. unemployment and underemployment rates, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Number of employed civilians in U.S., in thousands, 2007-13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food cost pressures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Changes in USDA Food Price Indexes, 2011 through June 25, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Obesity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: American adults by weight category as determined by body mass index (BMI), 2008-June 20, 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Childhood and teen obesity – highest in decades
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19, 1971-2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Racial, ethnic population growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: U.S. population by race and Hispanic origin, 2008, 2013, and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Shifting U.S. demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: U.S. population, by age, 2008-18
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: U.S. households, by presence of own children, 2002-12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Quick Service Restaurants - US - August 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)