Research from Roy Morgan shows 15.9 million Australians aged 14-plus (75.3 per cent) ate take away food in an average four weeks from fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jack’s, Domino’s Pizza or from the local fish and chips shop, pizza shop or convenience store in 2020.
This was a significant increase on 2019, when there were 13.3 million (63.7 per cent) customers of fast food outlets, as Australians spent a considerable amount of time at home during nationwide lockdowns last year and made use of food-ordering services such as Uber Eats, Menulog, HelloFresh, Deliveroo and DoorDash.
There are now 10 quick service restaurants with at least one million Australian customers buying food in an average four weeks with old favourite McDonald’s again the leading restaurant with over 8.1 million.
In clear second place is KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) with over 6.8 million customers while third place is a close contest between burger franchise Hungry Jack’s (4.2 million) and Domino’s Pizza (4.1 million).
Filling out the top five is sandwich and salad outlet Subway with 3.2 million customers followed by chicken-based Red Rooster with over 2.1 million customers.
There are four outlets with just over 1 million customers led by flame-grilled chicken outlet Nando’s on almost 1.3 million, the Australian-owned gourmet burger outlet Grill’d on over 1.1 million and the Australian-owned Mexican fast food outlet Guzman y Gomez and Pizza Hut both on around 1 million customers.
Top 10 Quick Service Restaurants: Number of Australians aged 14+ who ate at or had take away in an average four weeks – in 2020
Almost one-in-five Australians eat fast food 10+ times in an average four weeks
A small minority of fewer than one-in-five Australians are ‘big fans’ of quick service restaurants with 3.7 million Australians (17.6 per cent) eating from these outlets 10 or more times in an average four weeks.
There are far more less frequent customers to these outlets including the 4.5 million Australians (21.5 per cent) who eat from these outlets from 5-9 times in an average four weeks and the 7.6 million Australians (36.1 per cent) who only eat from these outlets from 1-4 times in an average four weeks.
On average Australians make 4.8 visits to quick service restaurants in an average four weeks.
Millennials are the biggest customer group for the top 3 – McDonald’s, KFC & Hungry Jack’s
Analysing the leading quick service restaurants by generation shows that Millennials, born from 1976-1990 and now aged from 30-45 years old, are the biggest customers of all three of the leading fast food outlets – McDonald’s, KFC and Hungry Jack’s – narrowly ahead of the younger Generation Z.
Nearly 2.5 million Millennials are McDonald’s customers in an average four weeks, over 2.1 million choose KFC and Hungry Jack’s has 1.3 million. In comparison, McDonald’s has almost as many Generation Z customers while there are 2 million Generation Z customers and 1.3 million for Hungry Jack’s.
Older generations are less frequent customers of fast food outlets, but McDonald’s remains the leading choice for Generation X, Baby Boomers and Pre-Boomers ahead of KFC and Hungry Jack’s.
Top 3 Quick Service Restaurants eat at or have take away in an average four weeks by Generation
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says fast food outlets were one of the beneficiaries of the last year as Australians stuck at home turned to food delivery services to order their favourite meals from McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jack’s, Domino’s Pizza and other outlets.
Levine commented: “The latest Roy Morgan data shows over three-quarters of Australians aged 14+, 15.9 million, ate take away food from fast food outlets in an average four weeks during 2020, up from 13.3 million (63.7%) in 2019 before anyone had heard of COVID-19.
“This represents significant growth on a year earlier but the trend of increasing patronage at fast food outlets has been consistent over the last few years. The impact of COVID-19 and keeping people at home for extended periods last year led to increasing usage of food-ordering services such as Uber Eats, Menulog, HelloFresh, Deliveroo and DoorDash.
“However, although these apps are ‘popular’ they are not the whole story as customer growth at leading fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jack’s and Domino’s Pizza has been consistent over the last few years.
“McDonald’s has been the market leader throughout this time and continues to hold its advantage with the ‘Golden Arches’ having over 8.1 million customers during 2020 well ahead of the second-placed Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) with 6.8 million. Also popular are Hungry Jack’s and Domino’s Pizza which both have over 4 million customers – around 20% of Australia’s population.
“The two youngest outlets within the top ten are the Australian-owned outlets Grill’d and Guzman y Gomez which were both founded fewer than 20 years ago. For the first time both the gourmet burger focused Grill’d and the Mexican-food focused Guzman y Gomes have over one million customers in an average four weeks.
“Importantly for these outlets is attracting and retaining repeat customers who may return multiple times over a short period. The data shows that 3.7 million Australians (17.6 per cent) eat 10 or more times from quick service restaurants in an average four weeks, or at least twice a week.
“There is considerable scope for quick service restaurants who can identify who these people are and find ways to increase engagement to add value to their offering through customer loyalty programs that reward frequent visits.”
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