New data from market researchers at Ibis World mentions three frightening figures: 191,511 fast food restaurant businesses in the U.S. in 2020 experienced -3.9 percent growth and 0.6 percent annualized growth from 2015 to 2020. To add fuel to the fire, many consumers are making their fast-food decisions based on either geographical proximity (can I pick up?) or 3rd party delivery services, which cost 30 percent of sales.
1. Listen to customers
Ignore peers, pundits and poohbahs. Go straight to your customers and listen to them.
2. Ask the right questions
Outdated “scale of 1 to 5” surveys are useless. Ask questions in a format that will get you actionable answers. Drowning in data is still drowning.
3. Don’t second guess the answers
If a large number of your customers tell you parking is important… give them parking. Giving your customers what they want reduces the need to give them coupons and discounts.
4. Divide and conquer
Tailor your message to what each individual group tells you is important to them. The “spray and pray” years are over. Digital media can be surgically precise if you know what you’re doing.
5. Keep your finger on the pulse
2021 is not only going to be really different than 2020 or than 2019, 2021 itself is going to be different from one quarter to another as different areas change their “stay at home” policies. So Salup recommends follow up research periodically.
Brand equity is what really drives loyal customers, the 20 percent which represents 80 percent of your business. But brand equity has been destroyed by store closings, the emphasis on pick up and the surge of delivery.