When it comes to choosing a quick service restaurant, there are several different factors for consumers to consider. But that list no longer only includes things like taste, cost and convenience. Consumers are also increasingly concerned with the sustainability of their quick service food choices, according to QSR Magazine. So how many people already support sustainable quick service restaurants? And what is the likelihood that sustainability and locally sourced food items will continue to have an impact on the industry?
Quick Service Restaurants
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 24% of respondents said that they have eaten at a fast food or quick service restaurant within the past day. 36% have eaten at one within the past week. 19% have within the past month. 8% have within the past three months. 3% have within the past year. Another 3% said that it’s been over a year since they last ate at a fast food or quick service restaurant. And 7% said they never really do.When deciding on which quick service restaurants to patronize, it seems that taste, price and convenience outweigh all other factors. 31% ranked taste as their most important factor when it comes to choosing a quick service restaurant. 29% ranked price as the most important factor. And 26% chose convenience over all other factors. Just 1% ranked having sustainable and eco-friendly options as their most important determining factor when considering quick service restaurants. And another 1% ranked having locally sourced options as their top factor. Having a selection of healthy options was considered to be at least a bit more important; 8% ranked it as their most important factor.
In general, 62% of respondents said that they would rather purchase sustainable food products when given the option to do so. And 68% said that they would prefer to eat locally sourced food when given the option. In fact, 56% said that they regularly purchase sustainable or locally sourced food from grocery stores.When it comes to sustainable quick service restaurants, just 9% of quick service restaurant consumers said that they’ve eaten at quick service restaurants with sustainable options within the past day. 15% have done so within the past week. And another 15% have done so within the past month. Subway, Chipotle and Panera were named as some of respondents’ favorite sustainable quick service restaurants. However, there could be room for more, as just 33% said that there are plenty of quick service restaurants with sustainable options near them.
Overall, 61% of respondents said that they consider themselves to be environmentally conscious. But even more respondents, 72%, consider themselves to be health conscious. But those two things have a lot in common in the minds of some consumers. In fact, 48% of respondents said that they consider sustainable food options to be healthier than other types of food. And 53% consider locally sourced foods to be healthier than other types of food.
While not necessarily considered a detriment, serving sustainable and locally sourced food items at quick service restaurants isn’t one of the top things that most consumers look for. Those factors aren’t on the same level as others like taste, cost, convenience and even health. However, since many customers see a link between sustainability and health when it comes to food, that’s an angle that quick service restaurants could potentially use to market their sustainable or locally sourced options. In addition, it could also be beneficial to ensure that adding those sustainable options doesn’t have any sort of a negative impact on things like taste, cost and convenience. But there is more room in the market for sustainable quick service restaurants, since less than half of consumers said that there are plenty of options for such items near them. 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.Photo Credit: Panera from FlickrWhat 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 June 5 via AYTM’s online survey panel.