L.E.K. Study Reveals Gen Y Take on QSR


BOSTON — In a few years Generation Y will have the most purchasing power in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, according to an Executive Insights report titled “Winning the Hearts (and Wallets) of QSR Consumers,” by the global management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting.

 “Our research shows many QSR brands that perform well across the general population are falling short with Gen Y,” Alan Lewis, vice-president in L.E.K. Consulting’s Consumer Products Practice, is quoted as saying by the U.S.-based CSNews.com.

Unlike Baby Boomers, Gen Y places great importance on word of mouth and is highly susceptible to peer pressure and choices friends make. According to L.E.K. research, more than 40 per cent of Gen-Y customers are influenced by friends. In fact, the research shows that they tend to place more value on their friends’ opinions than any other form of media.

Gen Y tends to have stronger connections to their favourite brands. In the L.E.K. report, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panda Express had the highest conversion score rank, indicating the strength of the brand based on customer expectations, while Boston Market, Starbucks and Popeye’s had the lowest conversion score ranks. Gen Y consumers tended to place more value on taste than price.

“Winning consumers with traditional value propositions won’st be enough to sustain a QSR brand in the future if it cannot cultivate loyalty from Gen Y today as they increase their spending power,” Jon Weber, vice-president and head of L.E.K.’s Restaurant Practice, is quoted as saying by CSNews.com. “QSRs need to think now about ways to recalibrate their offerings and customer engagement techniques to win and keep Gen Yers’ loyalty for the long-term.”

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