Great Food & Service Drive Loyalty to Fast-Casual Restaurants; Pei Wei, Culvers, Panera Score Best

A recent survey of restaurant consumers by Consumer Edge Insight reveals what factors drive loyalty for fast-casual restaurants, and identifies that Pei Wei Asian Diner, Culver's, and Panera Bread are the highest-rated brands.
Feb. 7, 2013 - PRLog -- In a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, when it comes to identifying what drives loyalty for restaurants, the most commonly-cited factors in determining which fast-casual restaurant is visited most often are best-tasting food (51%), good service (46%), cleanliness (45%), and highest-quality food  (43%).  The survey included 17 of the largest fast-casual restaurant brands in the US.

The survey asked consumers to rate restaurant brands on different attributes.  The fast-casual brands with the strongest perceptions for providing “great-tasting food” among past visitors were Pei Wei Asian Diner (51%), Culver’s (49%), Panera Bread (47%), and Chipotle Mexican Grill (46%).  Pei Wei Asian Diner (44%), Panera Bread (43%), Culver’s (42%), Firehouse Subs (39%), and Five Guys Burgers (38%) were the top scoring brands for having “good service.” The top-scoring fast-casual brands for “high-quality food” were Pei Wei Asian Diner (45%), Panera Bread (43%), Chipotle Mexican Grill (38%), Firehouse Subs (37%), and Culver’s (33%).

The survey also asked past-three-month-visitors to each brand how satisfied they were with their most recent visit and how likely they were to visit again.  The brand whose recent customers are most likely to visit again is Chipotle Mexican Grill (73% said they will “definitely” visit again), followed by Panera Bread (70%), Culver’s and Firehouse Subs (with 67% each), and Five Guys Burgers and Zaxby’s (with 66% each).

“For restaurants in the fast-casual segment, the most important factors that drive loyalty to a brand are all related to providing great food and service,” said David Decker, President, Consumer Edge Insight.  “Pei Wei Asian Diner, Panera Bread and Culver’s are among the top scoring brands in the segment on each of these attributes, but with many other brands close behind.  Restaurants need to keep raising the bar on providing great food and service while also looking for other unique ways to differentiate themselves in this competitive segment. ”


Restaurant DemandTracker, a syndicated consumer research service from Consumer Edge Insight, provides an in-depth analysis each quarter of how key economic and secular factors impact restaurant demand and which brands are best-positioned to succeed.  Data for the most recent wave of Restaurant DemandTracker was collected in October via an online survey of over 3,000 US consumers, age 18 and over, designed and weighted to be representative of the US adult population that visit restaurants at least once per month.  Some of the topics covered include economic factors driving changes in restaurant patronage, impact of health trends on overall patronage and by segment, changing demographic profiles of restaurant segment users, and numerous brand performance metrics. The research covers the quick-service, fast-casual, casual-dining, and fine-dining, and pizza-takeout segments in detail.

To learn more, call David Decker at (203) 504-7558 or send an email to


Consumer Edge Insight LLC is a market research and consulting firm that helps investors and companies that want to have deeper insight into how consumer behavior is changing around the world and how to profit from those changes. We help companies monitor key trends and develop strategies to enhance shareholder value.  We have partnerships with GuestMetrics and BlackBox Intelligence.  For further information, contact David Decker, or visit
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Tags:Restaurants, Fast Casual, Consumers, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Culver's, Panera Bread
Industry:Restaurants, Consumer, Marketing
Location:Stamford - Connecticut - United States
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