Fast food and quick service restaurants have always aimed to provide the quickest and most convenient service possible for customers. But in recent years, some have decided to use mobile technology to try and streamline the ordering process even more. So now for some fast food and quick service restaurants, customers can download apps to place their orders before even getting to the restaurant. According to a report by Business Insider, mobile ordering apps can add value for customers and potentially even drive up order values for restaurants. So how many consumers currently use these restaurant apps? And what are the most important functions they look for?
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 13% of respondents said that they currently have multiple mobile apps from restaurants or food ordering services. And another 11% have one such app. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Burger King, Panera, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Taco Bell, Applebees and GrubHub were all mentioned by respondents who use mobile restaurant or food ordering apps.
Of those who don’t currently have mobile ordering apps, 15% said that they would be at least somewhat likely to download or use one within the next year. 59% said they would be unlikely to do so. And 25% were neutral or undecided.
Of those consumers who have mobile ordering apps, 18% said that they’ve used them within the past day. 29% have done so within the past week. Another 29% have used their restaurant apps within the past month. 14% have used them within the past three months. 4% have used them within the past year. 3% said it’s been over a year since the last time they used their ordering apps. And another 3% have never actually used them.
However, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to those mobile apps and what they can be used for. Ordering food for pickup was among the top functions that consumers look for in a mobile restaurant ordering app; 29% of mobile app users ranked it as their most important function for a quick service restaurant app. 19% said that offering discounts or coupon codes would be most important to them. 18% look for the ability to order food for delivery. 13% think that a restaurant locator is most important. 11% want full menu access. 8% look for loyalty programs. And just 1% said they value apps that give them the ability to customize orders.
Overall, it seems that quick service restaurants are fairly popular. But they aren’t necessarily experiencing significant growth due to mobile ordering apps. 19% said they’ve purchased food from a fast food or quick service restaurant within the past day. 39% have done so within the past week. 19% have ordered something within the past month. 8% have done so within the last three months. 4% have ordered something within the past year. 2% said it’s been over a year for them. And 8% said that they aren’t fast food or quick service restaurant consumers at all.
Of those who purchase from quick service restaurants at least on occasion, 80% said that they normally place their orders at the actual restaurant. 25% regularly order online. 24% call ahead. 9% use their mobile apps regularly. 5% order via a mobile browser. And 1% said they regularly order food via fax.
In general, just 23% of respondents said that they order from fast food or quick service restaurants more often now than they did five years ago. But 37% said that they patronize those businesses less often now than they did five years ago. And 40% said that their habits haven’t changed in that time period.
Based on the data, it seems that quick service restaurants are still very popular, but not necessarily growing significantly due to the advent of mobile ordering apps. However, offering such apps could entice some consumers to place orders more often due to increased convenience. Since the ability to place orders on mobile apps is valued highly by users, but more advanced features like full menu access and the ability to customize orders are less valued, it seems that the convenience factor can be a major driving force for those mobile consumers. So for restaurants that want to increase usership of mobile ordering apps, marketing them as quick and easy rather than fully featured and complex could potentially be a winning strategy.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on May 16 via AYTM’s online survey panel.