Claymont, Delaware, October 27, 2022 / - As the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry is emerging from the pandemic, positive factors like Convenience and food quality have become vital customer experience drivers amidst numerous challenging business conditions. The resilient fast-food industry renowned for speed, convenience, price, and predictability has bounced back with optimism in a big way. Women have shown a higher preference towards more fantastic food varieties. Men prefer to give higher emphasis on staff behavior in QSR.

This aspect has emerged in Clootrack's study on 'Data-Driven Customer Experience Insights from the QSR Industry' covering 19 leading brands and 127,990 customer reviews conducted from July 2021 to July 2022 focused on trends and preferences. 

Brands mentioned by the customers in the Clootrack's study include McDonald's, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Subway, Jack in the Box, Little Ceasars, Burger King, Sonic Drive-In, Papa John's, Panda Express, Panera Bread, Whataburger, Arby's, Noodles & Co, Sweetgreen, Chop't, and Saladworks. 

The analysis results presented are unbiased and not based on any subjective judgment. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations publicly online, like public forums and social media. 

Key Findings from the QSR Customer Experience Study: 

Top Category Drivers: Even as customer demand remains high, the top trends are Convenience, which is a mega delight for the customer experience due to digital food ordering and quick delivery. Food Quality is the second leading category driven by positive customer experience. Fresh, hot, clean, taste and reasonable quantity of food contribute more positivity to this category. Other delighters are Overall Experience, App Interface, and Staff Behavior. 

Primary Concerns: Ordering Experience and Mobile App Issues are the two top factors that drive negative customer experience in the QSR industry. Problems related to App, like crashing, glitches, slow loading, and inability to place an order, are the issues reported by customers under App Issues. Orders getting canceled and not being able to complete the order are some of the problems. 

Women prefer more food varieties: Women have shown a higher preference towards more fantastic food varieties, and 'Food Variety' has emerged as the top 4 category driver. Whereas for men, 'Food Variety' does not appear among the top 5 category drivers.

Men give higher preference for staff behavior: Customer reviews highlight that men place higher significance on staff behavior, and hence they appear as one of the top 5 category drivers, whereas women don't seem to think the same as it finds no place in the top 5 drivers.

Four Important Ds of Customer Experience in the QSR Industry

Digital Ordering: Around 60% of digital ordering is through mobile apps. Other modes include ordering from a website or online, in-store, phone ordering, and curbside.
Drive-Thru: In the reviews that speak about the mode of eating, 90% of the reviews mention 'Drive-thru,' highlighting the significance customers place on drive-thru. 
Digital Payments: Digital Payment is the select mode of payment in the QSR industry. Apple Pay is the most preferred payment method by QSR customers, followed by Paypal and Google Pay.
Delivery: Delivery partners and apps influence the customer experience in the QSR industry since people hesitate to consume stale food due to delayed delivery or wrong and missing items in the delivered package. The usage of delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and other in-house delivery apps like Pizza Hut and Subway has doubled in July 2022 compared to February 2022. More people use DoorDash than other apps, as per customer reviews. 

Favorite Fast Food: The most popular food in the QSR segment are Pizza, Sandwiches, Burgers, French Fries, and Soups. Pizza has been the top-mentioned food consistently throughout the last couple of months, with 58% of customer reviews. 

Peak Time for Fast Food Consumption: There is a distinct preference for burgers during mid-morning and lunch, while Pizza sees higher orders during the evening and dinner. Sandwiches are mainly ordered for lunch, while Noodles have seen demand across lunch and dinner. 

Consumption – Weekdays V/s Weekends: Another exciting contrast is weekdays versus weekends. A deep analysis of busy hours shows more demand during the lunch hours on a weekday, whereas during weekends, there is a consistent demand that starts around 1 pm until 7 pm.

Promotions & Deals: Witnessed a 36% increase in customer reviews towards coupons, promotions, and deals. The research revealed a steady increase in customer reviews ever since February 2022. 

Healthier Fast Food: There has been a steep increase of about 300% in customer reviews about healthy fast foods. The healthy menu items are capturing a much wider audience. Consumers are turning health conscious, which has been a critical driver of the more beneficial concept.

Cities with Higher Rates of QSR Consumption: Houston consistently has a higher rate of QSR consumers, with 22% of the total QSR reviews, followed by Las Vegas, with a 15% review volume.  

About Clootrack: Clootrack is an intelligent customer experience analytics platform that helps brands understand "why" customer experience drops.
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