QSRs in the age of COVID-19
What customers are telling us about ordering food
Leveraging testing platform Alpha, Bottle Rocket has been conducting customer sentiment research focused on how people are interacting with quick service restaurants (QSRs) in the new environment of COVID-19.
Asking questions about how their needs are being met by their favourite restaurants, and what those restaurants could do to win more business, key findings included:
People want to be rewarded for trying something new
Over 80% of respondents said they would be more likely to order from a restaurant via their website or app if they were rewarded for trying a new way to order. Despite the ease of use, and enhanced convenience and safety of digital ordering, many customers are still looking for an incentive to try something new by ordering their food digitally. Brands with strong loyalty programmes will start to leverage that added benefit as a way of luring more customers to use their digital channels. Rewards, couponing and other incentives are still needed to encourage customers to convert to digital ordering.
There is some “fast-food fatigue” but customers will return to their favourite places
Nearly 20% of respondents claimed that they would not return to a QSR or fast-food restaurant in the next week, and those respondents offered a variety of reasons.
Some customers are working on improving their cooking skills, others are worried about unnecessary exposure to the virus by visiting a restaurant, and a third group is simply tired of eating food from the same establishments. Based on survey data, the fast-food loyalists are simply narrowing their choices – they claim to be visiting their favourite places even more frequently than before the quarantine came into effect.
80% of customers are more likely to order from a restaurant if they offer rewards for digital or text message ordering
There are still plenty of customers who will rely heavily on QSRs in the coming weeks
Despite the shift toward preparing meals at home, there is still plenty of activity. Over 33% of our survey respondents said they would source at least half of their meals from QSRs in the next week. We are starting to see customers fall into one of two camps:
- I am making an effort to be less reliant on takeaways and QSRs
- I intend to continue to order the majority of my food from QSRs.
15 April 2020
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