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Mobile Trends in QSR Blog Header

New Report — Mobile Trends in QSR

Posted Nov 4, 2021

During the height of the pandemic, many Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) either closed entirely or reduced operations, offering takeout, pickup, delivery and/or drive-through. Most consumers simply reduced their spending on all restaurant food – both QSRs and other types of restaurants. However, the QSR market has recovered quickly compared to other casual dining restaurants. 

The demand for takeout is increasing and QSRs, with their emphasis on maintaining hygiene standards, and how they’ve successfully leveraged technology to make delivery and takeaways seamless and efficient, are well-positioned to succeed in our post-pandemic environment. Accessing menus through QR codes, online and mobile ordering and payment, and other contactless tech solutions are now widely accepted, and 36% of consumers in a recent survey said they hope these changes will continue after the pandemic.

In addition to fast food, consumers also needed fast entertainment – and mobile gaming fit the bill. By early 2021, there was a 12% uptick in the total number of people playing mobile games. We wanted to learn more about this large segment of the population and how their habits and behavior around food and drink changed – perhaps permanently – due to the global pandemic. To find that out, we conducted a custom survey of 1,044 mobile gamers, in partnership with GWI. The Mobile Trends in QSR report contains fast food dining habits of mobile gamers, how they get their food (delivery, takeout, drive-throughs), favorite chains, and other purchasing behaviors. Read on for highlights and don’t forget to download the full report!

Report Highlights

Mobile games of all ages and genders are frequent fast food eaters. More than a third of mobile gamers of all ages are eating fast food at least once a week. About 1 in 5 are having fast food more than once a week, and only 2% say they never have it. While so much advertising creative is targeted toward young males, as it turns out, female gamers eat quite a bit of fast food, too. Among all gamers that eat fast food more than once a week, for instance, 54% of them are male while 46% identify as female.

The Golden Arches come out on top for mobile gamers. — Among the mobile gamers who eat fast food or eat at a restaurant at least monthly, the drive-throughs at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendys, and Burger King are the most popular. 

Curbside pickup and delivery saw significant increases but ordering takeaway food on an app or website had the biggest jump. — It’s not surprising that consumers are ordering takeaway food on apps and websites but we were impressed by how significant of a jump there was – 65% of mobile gamers said they do this more than they did before the pandemic. More than half of mobile gamers said they ordered food for delivery and curbside pickup more than before as well.

Pizza brands rule delivery orders. — Domino’s is the clear winner, likely due to its well-known branded app that makes ordering as easy as pie and its proprietary technology that it had already developed before the pandemic. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were also favorites among mobile gamers. Among the mobile gamers who say they are more active in drive-throughs than before the pandemic, the most popular places to go are McDonald’s (79%), Taco Bell (59%), Wendy’s (56%), Burger King (56%), Chick-fil-A (54%), and Starbucks (54%). 

Mobile gamers who eat fast food at least once a week demonstrate different preferences when it comes to games, entertainment, brand interaction.  — Fast food fans are more likely to be found playing Racing, Sports, Action and Casino games, among others. They are also more likely to go to a movie theater and make purchases of streaming content, specifically buying media online to keep forever.  Mobile gamers who eat fast food at least once a week are likely to read reviews about a product from an ad, tell a friend or relative about it, as well as follow that brand on social media.

About the Study

The survey was developed by AdColony and GWI and distributed online to mobile gamers. All figures in the study (unless noted otherwise) are drawn from GWI’s online research among U.S. internet users who are mobile gamers aged 16-64 via an online questionnaire. GWI only interviews respondents aged 16-64 and their figures are representative of the online populations of each market, not its total population. The survey garnered a total of 1,044 respondents in the U.S. over an eight-day period in Q2 2021.

About GWI

GWI is a target audience company that provides consumer insight across 47 countries to the world’s leading brands, communication agencies, and media organizations. The company runs a global survey representing more than 2 billion connected consumers, which offers up over 40,000 data points on the behaviors and perceptions of internet users around the world. Using the subscription-based platform, clients including Twitter, Google, Spotify, WPP, IPG, and Omnicom Group can gather in-depth insights into audience behaviors, attitudes, and interests through a combination of survey data and analytics. 

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