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Frequent customers most satisfied with quick service restaurants

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), September 2014 – August 2015 (n=8,419). Base: Australians 14+ who visited a quick service restaurant in last 4 weeks

In today’s time-pressed society, it takes a strong will not to succumb to the ease and convenience of fast food once in a while. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that almost six in ten (57.1%) Australians aged 14+ dine in, or take away from, a quick service restaurant during an average four-week period. What’s more, the more often they frequent the store, the higher their satisfaction levels get.

Since we last reported on Australia’s most popular fast food restaurants, the same five chains have held onto the five top spots. McDonald’s, visited by 29.3% of the population in an average four weeks, leads the way; followed by KFC (20.3%), Subway (16.4%), Hungry Jacks (13.0%) and Domino’s Pizza (10.5%).

Satisfaction and visitation

For each of these chains, there is a dramatic difference in satisfaction levels between their ‘heavy’ customers (people who dine in or take away five or more times in an average four weeks), and their ‘light’ customers (once in an average four weeks).

Australia’s five most popular quick service restaurants: customer satisfaction by visitation


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), September 2014 – August 2015 (n=8,419). Base: Australians 14+ who visited a quick service restaurant in last 4 weeks

For example, while McDonalds’ and KFC’s overall customer satisfaction ratings tend to be towards the lower end of the spectrum compared with many of the other chains we measure, this is not the case among their most frequent customers. An impressive 83.3% of heavy McDonalds customers and 85.0% of heavy KFC customers say they are satisfied with the stores.

While Subway generally rates very well for customer satisfaction anyway, even they see their scores skyrocket among their heavy customers — a staggering 96.6% of whom report being satisfied with the chain.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In one respect, these results are not particularly surprising: if someone returns to the same quick service restaurant five or more times in one month, they’re not doing it because they’re dissatisfied.

“But the challenge here is for quick service restaurants to encourage return visits from their infrequent – or light -- customers, who tend to be noticeably less satisfied. As our data shows, satisfaction starts improving as soon as a customer makes that transition from one-off to return visitor, rising exponentially with more frequent visits.

“A fast-food chain’s ability to keep its customers coming back is crucial to its continued success, and improving satisfaction levels among light customers is one sure-fire way of increasing return visitation. But to do this, a business needs to have an in-depth understanding of these customers: their expectations, their attitudes, their demographics and more – which is where Roy Morgan Research’s profiles of satisfied and dissatisfied fast-food customers can come in extremely handy…” 

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%