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Crust Pizza is Australia’s top premium quick service restaurant

Crust Pizza is Australia’s leading premium brand in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) category, according to the Roy Morgan Research Institute.

Crust Pizza is Australia’s leading premium brand in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) category, according to the Roy Morgan Research Institute.

‘Premiumisation’ is on the lips of business leaders in a time of unprecedented change and after extensive evaluation by our data scientists, Roy Morgan has selected the NEO consumer typology to underpin our premium suite of products.

By applying a premium lens to our deep data, we see that while 10 million Australian consumers are making do in an ever more commoditised economic ‘slow lane’, there are over 4.7 million premium consumers setting the pace in the fast lane – the NEOs. These premium consumers are big spenders in any economic cycle – right now, 91 percent of them are in the top third of elective spenders in the economy.

NEO consumers spend more than, and more frequently than, anyone else. In-depth analysis of these premium consumers by Roy Morgan has been able to identify four quick service restaurant brands that are attracting a disproportionate share of NEOs through the door.

The top-4 quick service restaurants with the highest proportion of these premium customers are:

  1. Crust Pizza
  2. Guzman y Gomez
  3. Grill’d
  4. Mad Mex

The top four on the list are well ahead of the rest – in each case, more than half their customers are premium consumers. There is less than a 2% difference between these four, but a gap of more than 10% separates them from the next cohort down which includes Nando’s and Oporto.

Premium customers are highly sought after by Australian businesses, as their ability to weather economic turbulence is greater than traditional consumers Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine explains:

Even in today’s slowing economy, with challenges presented by bushfires and floods around much of Australia and the new threat of the coronavirus and its impact on international trade, the premium market is thriving. This might appear paradoxical, but premium consumers are big spenders in any economic cycle with nine in 10 of them among the top third of elective spenders in our economy, and the tenth would be if they could.”

It’s no wonder, then, that these customers are so valuable to discretionary purchase businesses like quick service restaurants, she says. 

With the rise of high quality dining options around Australia in recent years, premium consumers are expecting higher quality food in everyday life. Quick service restaurants have the opportunity to get out of the commodity slow lane by satisfying the desires of premium consumers. The top four in particular have succeeded in doing just that,” says Ms Levine.

These relatively new quick service restaurant brands attract a very different customer base to the traditional fast food giants such as Subway, McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks, which attract more ‘Traditionals’, consumers who tend to prioritise price over experience.

Business leaders are recession-proofing their brands by recognising that there is a two-speed economy, and that by getting to understand premium consumers they can find out how to reach and motivate them. Given how much more frequently this group of Australians spends money on almost everything than Traditionals, from eating out and travelling to updating cars and technology, catering to them is a very smart move,” says Ms. Levine.

After exhaustive evaluation, Roy Morgan selected the NEO consumer classification as its premiumisation data lens. To learn more about how the term ‘premium’ applies to consumers as well as brands and experiences, and to find out which companies are attracting Australia’s premium consumers view our analysis of leading brands here.

Top 4 quick service restaurants ranked by proportion of premium consumers – ‘NEOs’

Top 4 quick service restaurants ranked by proportion of premium consumers – ‘NEOs’
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, October 2014 – September 2019, n = 73,747. Base: Australians 14+ who visited a quick service restaurant in the last 4 weeks.

Roy Morgan conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews in the homes of over 50,000 Australians per year for each of the last five years (October 2014 – September 2019) to determine which leading quick service restaurant brands attract Australia’s premium consumers. 

Learn more about Roy Morgan Premium.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

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%