Franchising News

Gallup: 40% Of U.S. Consumers Eat Fast Food Every Week

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 8/22/2013

Recent Gallup poll shows a strong market for fast food; consistent demand bodes well for the QSR franchising industry.

Fast food has become a part of America's nutritional fabric. From large urban centers to small towns, consumers across the nation can't seem to get enough of the convenience and menu items served up by a growing list of popular fast food franchises.

How Much Fast Food Do Americans Eat?

But while consumers' love affair with fast food isn't news, the frequency of consumers' fast food dining experiences is surprising . The Franchise Herald reports that according to a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of consumers report eating at a QSR (Quick-Service Restaurant) at least once a week -- and 80 percent indicate that they eat fast food at least once a month.

Even more surprising is the fact that the steady rate of QSR dining experiences appears to fly in the face of consumers' attitudes towards the nutritional value of fast food menu items. More than three out of four (76%) of consumers believe that fast food is either "not too good for you" or "not good at all for you" -- the same percentage that questioned the nutritional value of fast food in 2003.

Additional findings from the Gallup poll include:

  • Men are more likely to opt for fast food than women, by a ratio of 53 to 42 percent.
  • African-Americans (52%) and Hispanics (53%) are the groups most likely to dine at QSRs weekly, with just 46 percent of non-Hispanic whites eating at QSRs once a week.
  • QSRs are most popular with men in the 18-49 year old age group. Fifty-seven percent of consumers in this demographic eat at a QSR weekly.

The results of the Gallup poll show that attitudes and behaviors in the QSR industry have remained largely unchanged over the past decade, despite growing concerns about health and nutrition.

Historically, QSR franchising has been a popular industry for entrepreneurs interested in buying an existing franchise or quickly launching a profitable franchise location. But although the American appetite for fast food underscores the strength and vitality of QSR franchising, would-be entrepreneurs are advised to do their homework and thoroughly evaluate each franchise opportunity on its own merits.

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