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US Hispanics and Quick Service Restaurants Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Hispanics and Quick Service Restaurants market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report covers industry trends as well as Hispanics’ attitudes, preferences and behaviors surrounding QSRs.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following restaurant definitions:

  • LSRs (limited service restaurants) provide food services where customers usually select and order items and pay before dining. Food/drink may be consumed on the premises, offered as carryout or delivered to the customer’s location. These restaurants may also sell alcoholic beverages. LSRs include both QSRs and fast casual restaurants
  • QSRs (quick service restaurants) are used interchangeably with “fast food.” QSRs specialize in inexpensive, convenient meals that are less expensive than those available at fast casuals. There is typically no waiter service and no alcoholic beverages. Examples include: McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and Domino’s.
  • Fast casual restaurants are characterized by a higher price point than QSRs though not as high as full service restaurants. Fast casuals do not offer waiter service and may or may not serve alcohol. Examples include: Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack and Blaze Pizza.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Juan Ruiz, a leading analyst in the Hispanic Insights sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The majority of Hispanics claim to be loyal to the QSRs they visit. However, there is only one group – QSR Embracers – that has a positive attitude toward the category, overall. Hispanics in other groups may need confirmation that eating fast food is right for them. Offering healthier options and technology to help guide their choices may boost positive perceptions, leading them to enjoy more of their time at QSRs and increase Hispanics’ share of expenditures Juan Ruiz
Director of Hispanic Insights

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Hispanics are key to driving QSRs’ growth
            • Figure 1: Key Hispanic statistics about the QSR market, 2019
          • Hispanics have different approaches to QSRs
            • Figure 2: Hispanics’ QSR attitudinal segments, May 2019
          • Top takeaways
            • The opportunities
              • Use the restaurant atmosphere to stand out
                • Figure 3: Hispanics’ QSR visitation drivers, indexed to all, May 2019
              • Introduce technology to drive engagement
                • Figure 4: Hispanics’ experience with QSR technology – Have used and would like to use again, by gender and age, May 2019
              • Offer healthier options for peace of mind
                • Figure 5: Areas in which Hispanics consider QSRs can improve, by attitudinal segments, May 2019
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Hispanics’ spend almost $44 billion at LSRs
                  • Four distinct groups of Hispanics approach QSRs differently
                    • The youth of the market is good for QSRs
                      • Hispanics don’t visit QSRs alone
                      • The Market

                        • Hispanics’ expenditures at LSRs are estimated at almost $44 billion
                            • Figure 6: Key Hispanic statistics about QSRs’ market, 2019
                        • QSR Attitudinal Segments

                          • Four segments of Hispanics approach QSRs differently
                              • Figure 7: Hispanics’ QSR attitudinal segments, May 2019
                            • QSR Embracers (27%)
                              • Figure 8: Profile of Hispanic QSR Embracers, May 2019
                            • QSR Defenders (28%)
                              • Figure 9: Profile of Hispanic QSR Defenders, May 2019
                            • QSR Hesitants (25%)
                              • Figure 10: Profile of Hispanic QSR Hesitants, May 2019
                            • QSR Rejecters (21%)
                              • Figure 11: Profile of Hispanic QSR Rejecters, May 2019
                          • QSR Attitudinal Segments’ Implications

                            • Menu innovation keeps Hispanics engaged
                              • The importance of healthy offerings depends on expectations
                                • Hispanics in pro-QSR segments go to same restaurants over and over again
                                  • Figure 12: Hispanics’ attitudes toward QSRs, by attitudinal segments, May 2019
                              • Market Factors

                                • Hispanics’ youth makes them a prime target for QSRs
                                    • Figure 13: Hispanic share of total US population, by age, 2018
                                  • Hispanics are less likely to eat alone at QSRs
                                    • Figure 14: Households with related children and average household size, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2018
                                    • Figure 15: With whom Hispanics visit fast food restaurants – Any occasion, indexed to all, October 2017-November 2018
                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                  • QSRs are fighting for attention on multiple fronts
                                    • QSRs may benefit from shifting their attention toward Spanish-dominant Hispanics
                                      • Technology – the good and the potentially bad
                                      • What’s Happening?

                                        • Competition is fierce
                                            • Figure 16: Select LSRs Hispanics visited in the past 30 days – Any visit, indexed to all, October 2017-November 2018
                                          • Hispanics’ QSR visitation starts at early ages
                                            • Figure 17: Select LSRs Hispanics visited in the past 30 days – Any visit, by age (including teens), October 2017-November 2018
                                          • Technology continues to reshape the QSR experience
                                            • Plant-based menu innovations are becoming the norm
                                              • Giving back to employees and the community
                                              • What Needs Attention?

                                                • Engaging Spanish-dominant Hispanics further
                                                    • Figure 18: Select LSRs Hispanics visited in the past 30 days – Any visit, by language spoken at home, October 2017-November 2018
                                                • What’s Next?

                                                  • Food anywhere
                                                    • More wanted and unwanted exposure
                                                      • Figure 19: Kim Kardashian West tweet for Jack in the Box, May 2019
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • QSRs are not just about convenience for Hispanics
                                                      • Loyalty may be the result of habit
                                                        • Preferred QSRs perform reasonably well in a variety of areas combined
                                                          • Hispanics welcome tech-driven initiatives
                                                            • Hispanics likely decide what to eat once they are in the restaurant
                                                              • Hispanics don’t feel there are areas QSRs need to urgently improve
                                                              • QSR Visitation Drivers

                                                                • Hispanics look beyond convenience when visiting QSRs
                                                                  • Definition of healthy food can be ambiguous
                                                                    • Hispanics want to feel welcomed
                                                                      • Figure 20: Chick-fil-A #thelittlethings campaign – Soldier ad, November 2018
                                                                      • Figure 21: Hispanics’ QSR visitation drivers, indexed to all, May 2019
                                                                    • Acculturated Hispanics are more attached to traditional QSR attributes
                                                                      • Figure 22: Hispanics’ QSR visitation drivers, by level of acculturation, May 2019
                                                                    • Healthy options and restaurant atmosphere resonate with parents
                                                                      • Figure 23: Hispanics’ QSR visitation drivers – Healthy options and restaurant atmosphere, by parental status, May 2019
                                                                  • QSR Loyalty

                                                                    • Hispanics feel loyal to the QSRs they typically visit
                                                                      • Loyalty and engagement go hand in hand
                                                                        • Figure 24: Hispanics’ QSR loyalty, indexed to all, May 2019
                                                                        • Figure 25: Hispanics’ QSR loyalty, by age, level of acculturation, and attitudinal segments, May 2019
                                                                    • Reasons for QSR Loyalty

                                                                      • Good service matters to Hispanics
                                                                        • Figure 26: Reasons Hispanics have for being loyal to a QSR, indexed to all, May 2019
                                                                      • High quality food is likely about taste
                                                                        • Figure 27: Reasons Hispanics have for being loyal to a QSR – Food and beverage quality, by gender and age, May 2019
                                                                      • A focus on customer service can drive Spanish-dominant Hispanics’ engagement up
                                                                        • Figure 28: Reasons Hispanics have for being loyal to a QSR, by acculturation level, May 2019
                                                                    • QSRs and Technology

                                                                      • Hispanics are more likely to engage with tech-driven initiatives
                                                                        • The technology dilemma
                                                                          • Figure 29: Hispanics’ experience with QSR technology, May 2019
                                                                          • Figure 30: Hispanics’ experience with QSR technology – Have used and would like to use again, indexed to all, May 2019
                                                                        • Technology initiatives are not for all
                                                                          • Figure 31: Hispanics’ experience with QSR technology – Have used and would like to use it again, by gender and age, May 2019
                                                                        • Hispanics’ use of QSR apps is not yet standard
                                                                          • Figure 32: Hispanics’ use of food and beverage apps – Past thirty days, indexed to all, October 2017-November 2018
                                                                          • Figure 33: food and beverage apps Hispanics use – Past thirty days, indexed to all, October 2017-November 2018
                                                                      • QSR Menu Interest

                                                                        • Hispanics are flexible when ordering at QSRs
                                                                          • Figure 34: Hispanics’ interest in QSR menu items, May 2019
                                                                        • Family meals resonate with less acculturated Hispanics
                                                                          • Figure 35: Hispanics’ interest in QSR menu items, by level of acculturation, May 2019
                                                                        • Premium meat items drive expectations up
                                                                          • Figure 36: Hispanics’ interest in QSR menu items, by language spoken at home and household income, May 2019
                                                                      • QSRs’ Areas of Improvement

                                                                        • Hispanics seem pleased with current restaurant atmospheres
                                                                          • Healthier offerings could give Hispanics some peace of mind
                                                                            • Figure 37: Areas in which Hispanics consider QSRs can improve, May 2019
                                                                            • Figure 38: Areas in which Hispanics consider QSRs can improve, by attitudinal segments, May 2019
                                                                          • Improvements in customer service and value expand QSRs’ appeal
                                                                            • Figure 39: TURF analysis – Desired improvements, May 2019
                                                                            • Figure 40: Table - TURF Analysis – Desired improvements, May 2019
                                                                          • Highlighting ingredients resonates with more affluent Hispanics
                                                                            • Figure 41: Share of Hispanics who want QSRs to improve ingredients, by language spoken at home and household income, May 2019
                                                                          • Less affluent Spanish-dominant Hispanics may be missing out on deals
                                                                            • Figure 42: Share of Hispanics who want QSRs to improve special deals, by language spoken at home and household income, May 2019
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                      • A note about acculturation
                                                                                        • TURF Methodology