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The Changing Ways We Eat

There is an increasing need for quick service restaurants to stand out in food delivery apps to get to the top and stay there.

The way that we think about our meals is changing. Convenience continues to climb as a determining factor in our lives. The way we make decisions about food is no different. Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) have understood our desire for convenience for a long time. But with the rise of delivery apps like Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and others, our options as consumers are expanding.

 

About the Study

Discuss.io interviewed US consumers to understand their restaurant preferences and their use of food delivery applications. 10 in-depth interviews with consumers, 21-45 years old in American urban and suburban locations were conducted with professional moderation. All participants regularly eat at quick service restaurants and use food delivery apps. Discuss.io’s Save Moments and Automated Clips facilitated the creation of a video report summarizing the insights for these conversations.

 

Watch the Video Report:

 

 

What are the Drivers of QSR Preference?

 

What makes a QSR stand out above the rest? According to consumers in this study, the greatest drivers of QSR preference include (in order of importance):

  • Taste
  • Fresh options
  • Price
  • Quality
  • Convenient options
  • Delivery options (emerging as a consideration driver)
  • Cleanliness
  • Friendly staff
  • Sustainable practices

Of course, QSRs have spent years perfecting the art of convenience. Remember, there was a time before drive-thrus existed. However, as technology changes, the concept of convenience is changing as well. For many, fast and “on the way home” are no longer strong enough convenience factors.

 

Changing Behaviors

Prior to the emergence of these apps, consumers not wanting to cook would force themselves to leave work or home to grab food to-go, skip meals, or scrounge their fridge for something to eat.

This study found that delivery apps help consumers enjoy a meal during a busy day at work, or in the evenings with friends or family when they don’t want or can’t leave their home.

With the popularity of these delivery apps, consumers are cooking less and ordering in more often than they used to. On-the-go consumers can order ahead and have their food delivered to another location, either for themselves or for groups. This takes the convenience of QSRs and takes it to the next level – no travel or wait time is required.

Furthermore, because there’s now more choice, that means that convenient and healthy options are no longer mutually exclusive. According to the study, some consumers are now finding that, even though they’re cooking less, they’re actually eating healthier when they do order food because the healthy options for delivery has significantly increased with the emergence of the delivery apps.

 

What makes an app good?

 According to the study, apps that simply track purchases and loyalty points are deemed to be virtually irrelevant. Consumers are increasingly looking for apps that allow them to order ahead and provide prompt pick-up.

According to the study, the most successful delivery apps:

  • Have low or no delivery fees
  • Include the widest assortment of restaurants
  • Drive awareness of new and good restaurant options for consumers
  • Hire great drivers who are friendly/patient
  • Allow the consumer to track their order and driver location

According to the consumers in the study, opportunities exist to expand restaurant choice, remember previous orders, better track the order, rate drivers and include/enhance loyalty programs.

 

What does this mean for QSRs?

If QSRs want to continue to be relevant in the battle for convenience, they will need to stand out in the delivery app landscape.

Not too long ago, the only foods you could get delivered to your house were pizza and Chinese food, but delivery apps have rapidly changed the landscape. Now, many local, sit-down restaurants have partnered with food delivery apps to get their food into the homes of busy consumers who don’t have the time to dine in. So competition has increased significantly for QSRs and having a great delivery app will be key to staying relevant.


To learn more about this study or to understand how Discuss.io’s solution facilitated these conversations, visit www.discuss.io.

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