McDonald’s still number one, despite Domino’s surge

By Nick Hall | 18 Feb 2019 View comments

McDonald’s has once again claimed top spot as the nation’s preferred fast-food or QSR outlet, beating off stiff competition from fellow franchise chains KFC and Domino’s.

The latest results from market research company Roy Morgan revealed that while consumer demand for international cuisine is continuing to grow, Australians are still regularly attending fast-food chains.

Chinese food remained the nation’s most preferred cuisine, keeping pace with population growth, while Japanese cuisine achieved a six per cent growth in preference to 8.5 million and Middle Eastern cuisine rose to over 5.7 million Australians, up from 4.5 million four years ago.

In terms of the nation’s fast-food franchises, 58 per cent of Australians reported visiting a QSR outlet in an average four weeks, up from 57 per cent four years ago, roughly equating to around a one million person increase.

The primary driver of the growth was return-customers, with more than three million Australians reporting they visit a QSR chain 10 or more times over the period, up from 2.5 million four years ago.

Global fast-food giant McDonald’s was the big winner, achieving a three per cent rise in reported visits, with more than 6.4 million Australians attending an outlet over a four-week period.

Also reporting a three per cent rise was fast-food chain KFC, which is now visited by nearly 4.7 million Australians, up from 3.8 million four years ago.

Far and away the biggest increase in customer visitation over the period came from pizza chain Domino’s, which rose from 1.8 million visitors four years ago to 2.8 million currently.

Michele Levine, Roy Morgan chief executive officer said the result indicate that Australian consumers enjoy a broad range of multicultural cuisines, however big name fast-food chains still reign supreme in the QSR landscape.

“Australians are increasingly open to eating food from around the world and the latest Roy Morgan research into Australians’ preferred food cuisines shows a growing number of Australians saying they like to eat each of the country’s top ten favourite food cuisines,” Levine said.

“However, despite this proliferation of new outlets catering to a diverse and growing number of international cuisines, it is McDonald’s and KFC that remain clearly the ‘top dogs’ in the quick service restaurant industry.”

Levine went on to further analyse the results, revealing some interesting statistics about the typical Australian QSR consumer.

“Digging into the extensive Roy Morgan data on Australia’s food and take away preferences shows that while more women (6.1 million) than men (5.8 million) visit a quick service restaurant in an average four weeks it is men that disproportionately constitute the most frequent visitors to fast food restaurants,” Levine said.

“Analysing these heavy users of quick service restaurants by generation shows that over a fifth of both Gen Y (born 1976-90) and Gen Z (born 1991-2005) visit quick service restaurants at least 10 times in an average four weeks compared to just under 15 per cent of Gen X (born 1961-75) and only 7 per cent of Baby Boomers (born 1946-60).”

Australia’s constantly evolving food landscape is an often difficult to traverse premise, why is why Levine believes information such as this is pivotal to ongoing success of Australian food outlets.

“Gaining a deeper understanding of constantly evolving Australian food and eating preferences allows restaurants and investors in the sector to cater their menus to these changing tastes,” Levine said.