How to Demystify QSR Customers

Today’s quick service restaurant (QSR) marketers know their customers better than ever before. Advancements in technology and data capabilities have empowered them to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways.

But too many aren’t leveraging the latest in location and transaction data capabilities or machine learning.

In our new report, Demystifying Quick Service Restaurant Customers, we use the example of a national sandwich franchise’s campaign to demonstrate how QSR marketers can use location and transaction data, as well as machine learning, to drive customers to their restaurants.

After analyzing six months of visits to the franchise’s more than 1,000 U.S. locations, we identified five unique segments of patrons and the characteristics that define each. Below, a brief sample from the profile of each:

Breakfast Buyers

Breakfast Buyers stop by the sandwich shop for breakfast 15% of the time, but also frequent it outside of normal meal times. Breakfast Buyers like sweet treats, and are 61% more likely to buy Little Debbie desserts, as well as 31% more likely to pick up a pint of Breyers ice cream.

Lunchtime Loyalists

Lunchtime Loyalists visit the sandwich shop for lunch 90% of the time, with 98% of those visits occurring on weekdays. They’re loyal to a single location of the franchise, most likely close to their work or home. When it comes to some of their other dining preferences, Lunchtime Loyalists are 42% more likely to get their caffeine fix at Starbucks, 29% more likely to reach for a Coca-Cola and 24% more likely to buy Pepperidge Farm Snacks.

Primetime Patrons

This group of sandwich shop diners eats at the restaurant for dinner 95% of the time – and are just as likely to visit on a weekday as they are on a weekend. While they don’t visit as much as our other groups, Primetime Patrons are loyal to a single franchise location. They’re also 13% more likely to be beer enthusiasts, and 19% more likely to buy Minute Maid juices when skipping the alcohol.


Weekenders dine at the sandwich shop on Saturday or Sunday 35% of the time. Like Lunchtime Loyalists, they’re loyal to a single location, but almost certainly near their homes. Compared to other sandwich shop diners, they’re less likely to consider themselves healthy eaters, and are 18% more likely to buy Ruffles potato chips and 6% more likely to eat Tostitos.

Devoted Diners

Devoted Diners visit the sandwich shop more than any other segment and all of them eat at more than one location. Devoted Diners visit about six times in a 110-day period – significantly more than any of our other segments – and don’t stick to a time-of-day or day-of-the-week. It likely won’t come as a surprise, then, that they’re 51% more likely to be frequent fast casual restaurant diners.

In the paper, we break down the differences between each segment even further, exploring how QSR franchises can learn which advertising platforms resonate with different customer segments. Armed with this kind of information, QSR chains can build more personalized, cohesive marketing strategies and drive more customers to their restaurants.

Ready to learn more? Get the white paper here.


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