New consumer study highlights how QSR brands can drive app adoption and satisfaction

New consumer study highlights how QSR brands can drive app adoption and satisfaction

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Service Management Group (SMG), a global customer, employee and brand experience management partner to more than 500 brands, has published new research highlighting how quick service restaurant (QSR) brands can drive app adoption. Following the second consecutive year of rapid digital adoption, SMG conducted this study to help QSR brands elevate the app experience.

Using its brand experience platform to combine operational measurement with behavioral data, SMG fielded this study to understand how app usage has evolved and what gaps remain. With feedback from more than 8,000 consumers, here are key insights to drive app adoption and increase consumer loyalty.

While contactless ordering and convenience are certainly benefits of app usage, consumers indicate those aren’t the primary reasons they’re downloading apps. Nearly half of all respondents download an app to earn loyalty rewards and 39 percent report downloading an app for a deal or a promotion. With app adoption growing—36 percent of respondents have five or more QSR apps installed—QSR brands should focus on loyalty rewards and app-exclusive promotions to stand out from the competition.

“As more of the restaurant experience moves off-premise, it’s important for brands to find new opportunities to delight and differentiate,” said SMG Research Director Kurt Cederman. “While loyalty programs are driving app usage, consumers told us every brand has room to improve the app experience, from making the ordering process easier to incentivizing app usage.”

Data indicates the app ordering experience has improved year over year—43 percent of respondents believe it’s better or much better than ordering in person—however, challenges remain. Nearly one in four consumers report not being able to customize or make substitutions, receiving an incorrect order, or not being able to order wanted items. And the first two issues have the biggest consequences, with nearly one in three respondents indicating they stopped using an app after experiencing either issue. To build loyal app usage, restaurants must strike a balance between customization without compromising on order accuracy.

To learn more about how SMG helps QSR brands deliver better experiences and turn insights into business outcomes, visit our restaurant experience management page.

About Service Management Group
SMG inspires experiences that improve people’s lives. We are a catalyst for change—helping organizations generate new revenue, grow existing revenue, reduce churn and detractors, and drive operational efficiencies. Our unique software with a service (SwaS) model puts a dual focus on platform technology and professional services, making it easy for brands to activate insights based on customer, patient, and employee feedback. To learn more about our customer, employee, and brand experience management (XM) solutions, visit