Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Quick and easy lunch choice or affordable treat for the whole family? Satisfyingly salty hangover cure or something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy? Say what you will about fast food, the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research indicate that it’s as popular as ever among Australians.  

Last year, more than half the population (just over 55%) of Australians visited at least one fast food restaurant in an average four-week period, for either takeaway or to dine in. McDonalds was the clear favourite, visited by three out of ten Australians.

Australia’s most popular — and most visited — fast food restaurants


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust), January 2013–December 2013, n= 18,576. Base: Australians 14+

But there’s more to this popularity contest than simply the percentage of Aussies visiting in any given four-week period. A fast-food chain’s ability to keep its customers coming back is key to its continued success. Whether this is the result of more varied menu choices, greater convenience or better taste, it seems that McDonald’s tops the list for highest average number of visits per customer as well as total number of customers.

With its customers paying around 2.7 visits in an average four weeks, McDonald’s has a convincing lead over Subway (2.3 visits), Hungry Jack’s (2.2) and Nando’s (2.0). Despite having the second-highest total customer count, KFC only managed fifth position for average visitation.

Warren Reid, Group Account Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

"The supremacy of McDonald’s in terms of total customers and average visitation rate isn’t especially surprising. Not only is its menu is extremely affordable, but many of its 900-plus Australian restaurants offer drive-through, extended opening hours and/or playgrounds for the kids. In today’s time-poor society, such ease and convenience is a real drawcard.


“Brand loyalty is crucial in any industry, with fast food being no exception. Ironically, it’s the very convenience of so many fast food restaurants that means customers don’t stay absolutely loyal to one particular chain. Of all the fast food chains in the top 10, McDonalds’ customers are the least likely to have visited competitor chains while at the opposite end of the spectrum, Oporto customers have visited more fast food outlets than any other chain’s customers in an average 4 weeks.

"Subway also does well in enticing its customers back for multiple visits  no surprise, really, considering it won the Quick Service Restaurant of the Year award in the 2013 Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction Awards. This is a chain that knows how to keep its customers satisfied.


“The ability to identify these high-frequency customers allows a fast-food chain to target and refine its marketing campaigns more effectively, with the aim of instilling brand loyalty in this extremely competitive industry.”  

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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


fast food, quick service restaurants, mcdonald's, subway, hungry jack's, kfc




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