Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
How’s this for a paradox? More New Zealanders visit McDonalds than any other fast-food chain, yet it rates lowest for overall satisfaction.  Compare this to rival chain Subway, visited by considerably fewer Kiwis yet scoring a far higher satisfaction rating (second only to gourmet ‘burger engineers’ Burger Fuel). The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research cast an intriguing light on the country’s fast-food industry.  

In the year to August 2013, 39% of the New Zealand population visited McDonalds in an average four-week period. However, only 73% of them reported being either very or fairly satisfied by their Macca’s experience.  Meanwhile, Subway was visited by 25% of Kiwis, 89% of whom were satisfied.

Fast-food chains visited in last four weeks by % of New Zealand population


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), September 2012 – August 2013 (n = 12,185)Base: New Zealand population 14+

While it’s tempting to assume that McDonalds attracts more customers because it has more outlets across the country than its competitors, this is not the case: with 161 stores nationwide, it is eclipsed by Subway’s 252.

Customer satisfaction with fast-food purchase in average 4-week period


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), September 2012 – August 2013 (n = 12,185)Base: New Zealand population 14+

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“Our latest data raises some interesting questions: primarily, why would more Kiwis visit McDonalds than any other fast-food chain when it satisfies them the least? As we’ve determined, it’s not merely a matter of having more stores. The most likely reason is one of economics, with McDonalds being cheaper than many, if not all, of its rivals.

“Subway, with its emphasis on high-quality ingredients and kilojoule counting, is generally considered the healthier alternative – which no doubt contributes to its high satisfaction rating as well as its taste.

“Burger Fuel is another noteworthy case: with just 33 branches on the North Island, it attracts a fraction of the visits, but its quirky automotive theme, locally-sourced ingredients and appealing ‘indie’ attitude ensure its customers are the most satisfied in the country.

“In an ever-changing market, fast-food chains must be able to cater to increasingly health-conscious customers without pricing themselves out of contention.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268
W: www.roymorgan.com


fast food, quick service restaurants, mcdonalds, subway, customer satisfaction, new zealand




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