Foursquare's Third Annual QSR Loyalty Index
See this year’s top 10, plus industry trends and takeaways
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Changes are afoot in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry: Dairy Queen is doubling down on savory items; Burger King has introduced a coffee subscription, and Dunkin’ is no longer just for donuts. Every brand is looking to capture a greater share of this $250+ billion dollar market.
But with so many options at hand, Americans are justifiably picky about where they dine out. We dug into our data to better understand which QSR chains are winning when it comes to customer loyalty.
As the leading location technology platform, Foursquare is uniquely able to understand the foot traffic patterns of millions of Americans, always anonymized and aggregated, to all types of QSRs—from burger joints to coffee shops. With this data, we can not only measure which chains are receiving the most visits, but also measure loyalty based on customers’ actions, rather than brand perceptions. This provides a highly accurate measure of business health as well as a differentiated approach to segmenting customers and building brand loyalty.
Today we are releasing our third annual QSR Loyalty Index, ranking the top 50 QSR chains in the United States in order of customer loyalty. Foursquare’s loyalty index distills a number of complex behaviors and inputs into a single metric that can be compared across chains and QSR categories.
1. It’s not all about burgers and fries - QSRs leading the way in customer loyalty show significant variety in terms of menu focus. Brands topping the list include a coffee chain, burger joint, chicken spot, sandwich shop, taco joint and pizza place. It’s safe to say there’s no one recipe for success when it comes to customers’ loyalty to QSRs.
2. Even QSRs traditionally known for delivery, such as Domino’s Pizza and Little Caesars, can maintain considerable customer loyalty in terms of foot traffic. QSRs should consider strategies that reach consumers in real-time when they’re craving a fast food fix to drive both online and carryout orders.
3. More locations make repeat visits more convenient than ever. QSRs moving up the ranks in customer loyalty, such as Dairy Queen and Burger King, are expanding their store footprints. While it may pose risks, a ‘fortressing’ strategy gives consumers more opportunities to visit their favorite QSRs, whether they’re at home or on the road.
Who Tops the List?
Here’s this year’s top 10 QSR chains with the most loyal fan base:
It likely comes as no surprise that some of the country’s leading national chains like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ remain at top the list of QSR chains with the most loyal customers. These chains are known for their rewards programs, convenience, national presence, dependable food quality and great service.