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Consumer Trends

Chains gaining favor with guests

These chains made up the most ground with consumers surveyed by Technomic.
Photograph courtesy of Freddy's

Even with restaurant competition at a fever pitch, these chains showed there are still ways to stand out to diners. They made up the most ground in a variety of categories with consumers surveyed by Technomic.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburger

+11.9 points in brand image

Consumers rated the brand image of fast casual Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers nearly 12 percentage points higher year over year because of the chain’s support of community activities. The Wichita, Kan.-based chain hosts an annual National Frozen Custard Day promotion, which donates thousands of dollars in school supplies to kids and teachers around the country. The chain gives back in local markets, like when it let guests add $1 to their total purchase to raise money for flood relief in Nebraska and Iowa. The chain communicates these contributions in its stores and on its website.

 

Jack in the Box

+7.7 points in overall consumer satisfaction

No other chain showed greater year-over-year growth in overall consumer satisfaction than Jack in the Box. Consumers gave high marks to the quick-service chain’s appealing limited-time offers. And the chain’s use of technology to improve the customer experience jumped 7.6 percentage points.

 

Little Caesars

+12.1 points in technology improving the consumer experience

The quick-service pizza chain recently added delivery, offering last-mile delivery for orders placed on the chain’s website and mobile app through DoorDash. It uses technology in a variety of ways, including heated self-service pickup stations called Pizza Portals inside its restaurants and a point-of-sale system integrated in the Little Caesars app to speed pickup times.

 

Carl’s Jr.

+9 points in consumer perception of innovation

Carl’s Jr. has been innovating its menu, adding plant-based Beyond patties as well as elevated ingredients such as those highlighted in the Bacon Truffle Angus Burger.

 

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

+8.9 points in consumer agreement that the chain has “values similar to my own”

Carrabba’s Italian Grill promotes its Carrabba’s Cares program, offering to host fundraisers at its restaurants for community groups. Carrabba’s donates a percentage of sales from one day or several days to the participating organization.

Source: Technomic Ignite consumer data

Learn more about America's Favorite Chains.

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