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Fast-Food Market: Marketing Research Report (Assessment)

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Factors that determine the choice of fast-food restaurants to take their meals

From the market research, various factors have been analyzed as factors determining the choice of fast food restaurant for one to eat. In America, one out of 4 Americans living in towns they are feasting fast food restaurants because of various factors. However, the industry’s force for consolidation, homogenization and many other factors have contributed to customers looking for other factors that they choose when they want to consume in a restaurant. The factors that have been emulated in this research include the cleanliness of the fast-food restaurant that the consumers consume. the other factor that has been considered in this case is the type of services offered by restaurant in question. The price of the food offered in this restaurant as well as quality which the customers consider when selecting fast-food restaurants to take their meals. However some customers also consider the convenience of the location of the restaurant.

From this research, the most important factor among the five factors under consideration is the type of services that the restaurant offers. Out of the sample of 100 people that were interviewed in this case, twenty-seven percent of the people said that the type of service the restaurant offered is important and very important. i.e. 12% for very important and 15% important. The price of the food offered and the convenience of location of the restaurant both scored 26 % under the category of important factors to consider. However the convenience of the location scored higher in terms of percentage of very important factors to consider when selecting a restaurant as compared to the price. It polled 12% as compared to 11% in the price however the two factors play an important role in determining the fast-food restaurants to choose. It means that a customer may choose a fast food restaurant either on the grounds of convenience or price depending on situation at hand at that time. Price is very important because without money in your pocket one will not choose a restaurant on any ground. When it comes to important factors price scores 16% while convenience scores 11%. This is less the same because the difference is less the same on either side. However, these factors will interchange with each other depending on the levels of income of the customer. If the customer’s level of income is higher then price will not be as important as compared to convince of the location.

The other factor that plays an important role in determining the type of restaurant the customer will patronize for his lunch breakfast and other meals is the cleanliness of the fast food. It is important to note that no person will patronize any restaurant with a dirty environment. This is because of the fear of dangerous microbes and infectious diseases that may reside in a dirty environment. This factor has been given 24% in two categories in the two categories of important and non-important factors but looking at it critically it scores 20% as important factor to consider when selecting a fast industry to take your meals. No other factor has scored 20% in any category except this factor. It also scores 28% as important neither important nor unimportant. This factor score more than 50% from the category of wither important upwards all other factors scores less than 50%. This shows how important this factor is. Out of 100 people sampled more than 50% believed that cleanliness is important. While less than 50% believed that cleanliness is not important in the selection of a restaurant to take their meals. However looking at the factor of the type of service offered in the restaurant it scores 44%. The graph below shows how sensitive each factor is to choose the restaurant patronize

Diagonal segments

Lastly, the factor of quality of food scores 21% in the first two categories of important and very important factors making it the last factor under the factors that were in consideration in the research. This is because probably the customers once they have a convenient place which is clean with a good service definitely they will assume the food served is of high quality. It is important to note that in selecting a service in any market especially in the fast food industry quality type of service, convenience are price is given the price. No customer will patronize a restaurant with known poor services. It can be observable that this factor gives the most excellent restaurants without these factors the restaurants may be of pathetic nature.

A lot of facts emerge from this research on the factors that determine types of restaurants to be patronized by the customers. In the past there have been food poisoning due to the type of food that is offered by fast food industries at the same time some have been offering junk food at this era of obesity. However since the enactment of 2010 healthy people act, this has stopped and now the customers believe that each restaurant is required by law to observe quality. Therefore they have changed the factors they consider most important in selecting the restaurant. This is why in this case they have given type of service, price, quality convenience of the location and cleanliness as factors to consider since the acts take care of other factors. It can be observed also from this market research that majority of the people patronize restaurants for breakfast and dinner. This shows that they have confidence in the type of food offered by these restaurants.

Perceptions of Wendy’s competitors

From the research, we have four competitors for Wendy under consideration. The competitors that have been selected include, McDonald’s, Checkers, Burger King, and Arby’s.

The customer’s perception of the four competitors has been rated in terms of price, preference, quality, cleanliness, and service offered. The customers have given more preference to Burger King Restaurant as compared to Wendy’s. 28% of the sample preferred Burger King as preferred and very much preferred restaurant. Under the same category 26% preferred McDonald’s while Wendy had 24%. This means that most customers under the sample had preferred Wendy as the third option in selecting a fast-food restaurant.

Looking at perception in terms of each of the mentioned factors, McDonald’s is considered by 60% as having a good quality and above while checkers has 50% Arby’s 54% and Burger king 66%. In the same case Wendy has 62%. This means that the customers perceive the quality of burger king as higher than the quality of Wendy’s. The same case Wendy has a higher quality food as compared to McDonald’s according to this analysis. McDonald which 60% states that the type of food offered is of quality are less than that of Wendy’s. The other restaurants in the same category are offering food that is considered by few as of quality as compared to Wendy. The quality of food which is considered by customers should be trouble-free. Food poisoning or contamination is one of the serious issues that affect many restaurants across the world more so in the United States. There are several reasons that affect the quality of food in a restaurant. This includes contamination of food bacteria, parasites and poor cooking techniques. The cleanliness of the people cooking the food is also another factor that affects the quality of the meal that will be served to the customers. It is the responsibility of the restaurant to ensure that food served to the customers is clean, the environment is clean and food is handled with hygienic practices. However, in this case, all restaurants have kept this safety a measure what the research is trying to do is to find out the perception of those customers in relation to the quality of food. This research has shown that there is a higher perception of the quality of food offered by burger king as compared to Wendy’s. The chart below shows how the preference of the among the customers.

The preference of the among the customers

Another factor that the customers consider is cleanliness. How do customers perceive cleanliness of Wendy in relation to other restaurants under this case? Considering good and excellent as a basis of rating the perception of customers towards cleanliness, this research shows that 32% of McDonald’s customers said that the cleanliness of the restaurant was good while 19% said it was excellent. This brings it up to 5%. The same group of customers gave Wendy 57% i.e. excellent they were 23% customers while good 34% of the customers in the sample. It means that there is a perception that Wendy offers a clean environment which is better than McDonald. On the same basis, burger king was given 55%, 1i.e 20% and 25% for good and excellent respectively. They also gave checkers 47% i.e. 26 and 21% respectively and Arby’s gave 53%. It means that Wendy is perceived to be offering the best cleanliness environment as compared to the competitors. in a nutshell, they have observed that Wendy is the cleanest among the five competitors. Cleanliness is a critical issue in the fast food industry and any perception in relation to cleanliness will affect the business drastically. Cleanliness should be maintained by having good cleaning schedule, good food temperatures clean storerooms, and clean staff members.

Food in restaurants should be kept away from biological, chemical and physical hazards that will put the food to be unclean. However, bacteria are the main biological contaminator and it causes a lot of food poisoning that is reported in most fast food industries, cooking a lot does not kill these germs, therefore, cleanliness in handling the food should be given a paramount importance. Customer’s perception of the restaurant level of cleanliness depends on the past history as to how many cases have been reported of food poisoning. Therefore, this analysis has indicated that the customers have a good perception of the cleanliness environment of Wendy as compared to the other restaurant. However one should note that this is a mere perception but not a reality check.

Perception in terms of service offered by the restaurants shows that there are some competitors who are doing well as compared to Wendy. McDonald’s is considered to have good and excellent of 56%.Burger King is considered to have 45%, checkers is 48% and Arby is 53%. On the same note Wendy has 46%. This means that the service of Wendy is perceived by many of the customers to be lower than that of all the competitors except burger king. The type of service that is offered by a restaurant determines how often the customer will patronize the business. And in this case majority of the customers under the category of good and excellent are viewing this restaurant as having low service as compared to the rest.

In terms of price, McDonald’s is perceived to have a good and excellent price by 48% of the customers, Wendy by 45% burger king by 40%, checkers by 46% and Arby’s by 43%. It means that the competitors are having a good price in terms of the two categories as compared to Wendy. However considering the other category of either good not bad price, you will find that McDonald has 73%, Wendy 70%, Burger King 61%, checkers 62% and Arby’s 58%. Considering these three categories of excellent, good and indifferent you find that McDonald’s is perceived to have a good price followed by Wendy, this makes Wendy the second restaurant in terms of price.

Lastly, when considering the convenience of the location of the restaurant McDonald is considered by 74% of the customer patronizing the restaurant as convenient while the 26% considered it to be somehow poor and poor location on the same note, seventy-four considers Wendy to be in a good location i.e. indifferent, good and excellent category while 26% view the location of Wendy’s outlets as somehow poor and poor. On the same level 75% of customers consider burger king to be well located as compared to 25%. 73% of the customers sampled viewed checkers to be well located while 17% stated the restaurant to be poorly located. The same case applies to Arby’s where 69% believed the restaurant was well located as compared to 31% who viewed it to be poorly located. This perception will determine consumption of food.

Wendy’s customer profile

Inc considering the customers’ profile for Wendy they have been categorized into the following categories; Level of income, age, employment status, marital status and family size. From the research 35% of the sample patronizing Wendy’s restaurant were male while 65% consisted of females. Among these people, 71% were married, 23% had never been married and 6% were divorcees. The research also found out that, 14% of the sample were from a family of one person 10% from a family of 2, 26% from family of three, 29% from a family of four and 21% from a family of 5 or more people. The chart below shows the distribution in terms of marital status.

The distribution in terms of marital status

The customers who patronized the restaurant were also grouped in terms of age and it was found out that 85% of the customers were between the age of 25 and 40. While 6% were between the age of 18 and 24, 5% between the age of 21 and 60 while over the age of 60 were 4%. This is because people over the age of 60 are having complications with the type of food consumed because of blood pressure heart disease and obesity. However people between the age of 25 and 40 is the working-age with extra disposable income that can be spent for food. This group of people has busy schedule and they do not have time to go and cook. They will prefer where food will be cooked and that is in restaurants. People between the age of 18 and 24 are students therefore they do not have money to patronize restaurants in large numbers.

In grouping Wendy’s customers in relation to their levels of education, you find that 19% had not reached high school level but 8% were graduates from high school, 29% had college education, and 14% had graduated from colleges. This is because the level of education one has will influence the consumption pattern, the amount of income received for consumption and the degree of outgoing of a person. A person of less than high school is expected to have less income if not in high income therefore there is little available for consumption. People who have graduated from colleges will tend to have a busy schedule and they will only patronize restaurants when necessary since of the busy schedules. However, people with some college education and high school education will have extra disposable income by the fact that they have some education that will enable them to get white of blue-collar jobs and they are in lower levels of management thus they have more time to patronize restaurants as well as money.

Another category that has to be used in analyzing Wendy’s customer profile is employment status and levels of income. Among the customers that patronize Wendy’s restaurant, 35% had full-time employment, 6% had part time employment, 49% were students, 5% homemakers and 5% unemployed. It means that students were the main customers for the restaurant that is why they formed a large part of the sample. It should be noted that some students will have extra disposable income if we are students at the same time employed. However other students come from well-to-do families, and they do not have time to go and cook food for the family and therefore they will opt instead of going to cook. The graph below shows how income and customers are distributed for Wendy:

Income and customers are distributed for Wendy

2% of the customers had less than $30,000 as annual income while those with less than 50,000 dollars were 14%. Those more than $ 50,000 but less than $75,000 were 61%. Those who had less than $100 but more than 75,000 were 19% while the rest were 4%. It should be noted that majority of the consumers for the food in this restaurant were people with incomes of 50 to 75 percent. This is simply because they are the majority and these people fall in the middle-level management where they have a lot of work and they do not have time to go to cook. At the same time the money is enough to spend to buy food.

Recommendations

Wendy should concentrate on targeting people with an income of more than 50,000. They should also ensure that people who are employed and partly employed are a target for the restaurant because these are the groups with extra disposable incomes. They have already enough students patronizing the services of the restaurants. They should move away from income earnings groups. They should also change the menu to target people between the age of 41 and above because this group has extra income especially the retirement benefit which they can use in patronizing the services of the restaurants. They should also encourage many males to patronize their restaurants by changing the menu to cater to both categories.

Relationship between fast food selection factors and frequency of fast food purchasing

There is a direct relationship between fast food selection factors and frequency of fast food selection in the income. You find that those restaurants which are preferred by the customers because of the factors of selection are frequently patronized by the restaurants. For example, most customers considered quality as a great attribute in the selection of restaurants to patronize. This would ensure that the customers frequently purchased the fast-food rated as the best. It shows that from this research that 51% of the customers buy food frequently from burger king for 50% from Arby’ 46% from Wendy and 51% from McDonald’s. The graph below shows the relationship between the factors of food selection and the frequency of purchase.

the relationship between the factors of food selection and the frequency of purchase

From the graph one notes that there is no specific relationship between the frequency of purchase and end factor. However the relationship that can be depicted is a direct relationship between some factors like cleanliness and the frequency of purchase.

The frequency of purchase The frequency of purchase

The factors as shown in the graphs above have each different relationship. Price has an inverse relationship, cleanliness the same while service and quality have an direct relationship.

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