Restaurant & fast food brand index – Q4 2019

Every quarter we survey British consumers on their brand awareness and preferences in relation to the restaurant and fast food sector. Our latest insights into this industry can be found below.

To compile this quarter’s restaurant & fast food brand index below, we looked at three things:

  • Percentage of unprompted brand recall within the restaurant and fast food category
  • How likely a person is to purchase each brand (purchase intent)
  • How likely a person is to recommend each brand (net promoter score)

Key changes in brand attributes

What’s going on in the world of restaurants and fast food? Consumer eating habits are changing by the day – there’s more emphasis on dietary requirements than ever before, and more understanding about what’s actually in the things we eat. 

Our future of food & drink report revealed that a huge number of people are switching to and maintaining a plant-based diet, or at least reducing the amount of meat they eat, as well as more closely monitoring their sugar intake. The pressure is on for restaurant and fast food brands to match the changing needs of more health-conscious consumers, and to keep their brand front-of-mind. You can check out our future of food & drink report below for detailed insights into how consumers want the food industry to change:

The future of food and drink report 2019

In 2019, diets are changing, and it’s arguably more important than ever before that they do. Are you up-to-speed on how food and drink is faring? Get the rundown on consumer habits, concerns, and intentions in the Future of Food and Drink Report 2019.

Get your copy now

Each quarter we ask consumers to rank the top 10 restaurant and fast food brands they named in eight category-specific attributes. Here are the main winners, losers and movers this quarter:

  • In Q4, no one brand has managed more than two first place rankings across the brand attributes. That’s a significant change from last quarter, when Subway stormed the board – after nabbing the top spot for six of the eight attributes, they’ve dropped from the top 10 entirely this time around. 
  • JD Wetherspoon have claimed the crowns for the most convenient and best priced restaurant brand. They were also rated the best priced in Q3, but have stolen the title of most convenient from Subway in Q4. Pizza Hut, who were ranked neutrally across the board last quarter, have also achieved two first place rankings – they were rated the highest for reliability and customer service, both of which also went to Subway in Q3.
  • Wagamama have joined the top 10 in Q4, scooping up first place for innovation and food quality. Those titles both went to – you guessed it – Subway in Q3. Wagamama have come in last for one attribute, though, with the British public thinking they’re the least convenient restaurant brand. Other newcomer, Burger King, have also nabbed a last place spot – for inclusivity of dietary requirements.
  • Q4 isn’t shaping up all that positively for Pizza Express. Not only are they £1bn in debt, they’ve also come in last for three of the eight brand attributes. UK consumers gave Pizza Express a last place ranking for reliability, innovation, and price. It’s a significant drop from Q3, where they received a last place ranking for memorable branding, but otherwise scored neutrally – it could signify falling brand integrity for the Italian chain. 
Restaurant and fast food brand index Q4 2019

Key takeaways

  • There’s been a lot of movement this quarter, with just three brands staying in place from Q3 to Q4. Nando’s remains the king of restaurant brands, sitting at the top of the leaderboard, and McDonald’s stays just behind them in second. After McDonald’s spent a brief stint at the top in Q2, the gap between McDonald’s and Nando’s has widened again, with McDonald’s losing total brand equity from Q3 (1,310) to Q4 (900). The other non-mover this quarter is Frankie & Benny’s, which has stood firm in ninth place – despite dropping in unprompted brand recall this quarter, they’ve made impressive gains across the rest of their key metrics.
  • Two brands have hopped up one place this quarter – JD Wetherspoon, from fourth to third, and KFC, from fifth to fourth. Harvester is another brand to ascend on the leaderboard, making the leap from eighth to fifth. This is largely thanks to an increase in NPS, from 15.6 in Q3 to 40.7 in Q4. 
  • Two brands have fallen in the rankings this quarter. One of them is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Pizza Express, who’ve dropped one place from 6th to 7th. This might seem all doom and gloom, but actually, they’re not faring all that badly despite their low rankings across the brand attributes – both their Total Brand Equity and NPS are up this quarter. In fact, another pizza chain has seen a much more dramatic decline this quarter – Pizza Hut. They’ve dropped in all of their key metrics, resulting in a fall from 3rd to 10th on the leaderboard.
  • Two newcomers join the leaderboard in Q4 – Wagamama and Burger King. Wagamama has flown into 6th place, largely thanks to an impressive NPS and purchase intent score. Burger King have appeared in 8th, with a low Unprompted Brand Recall score of 2%, but the highest NPS on the board at 50. They’ve pushed Prezzo and Subway out of the top 10. 

The Full Report

The report includes:

  • The UK’s leading restaurant & fast food brands for awareness, purchase intent and net promoter score
  • Overall brand strength and total brand equity index
  • Industry averages and market dynamics
  • Key takeaways for the UK restaurant & fast food industry

The report is based on a nationally representative survey of 1000 people in the UK (aged 18+), surveyed in January 2019. 

Brand index methodology

The Attest brand index is a platform agnostic measure of a brand’s total brand equity in the health and wellness sector, as determined by real consumers.

What does that mean?

When we say ‘platform agnostic’, we mean the results are not influenced by any particular method of collecting them, like looking exclusively at social media mentions or at brand search terms. This reduces bias and gives us a more accurate view of a brand’s strength in their category.

Learn more about why we think this is the best methodology for brand intelligence.

Brand index data is gathered every quarter from a nationally representative survey to 1,000 UK consumers aged 18-65.


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