Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant: Marketing Research

Introduction

Wendy’s is an international chain of fast-food restaurants which operated in the US and in the international markets under the brand name of Wendy’s. The primary operations of the company are present in the United States with headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. The company is famous for its old-fashioned hamburgers, milkshakes, salads and its soft serve ice creams.

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The Most Important Factors for Choosing a Fast-Food Restaurant

The analysis of the data provided reveals that the most important factors which are considered to be of significance when choosing a fast food restaurant to dine in or order from include the factors such as the quality of the products, the cleanliness of the kitchen and the dining area, the service provided to the customers, the price of the products served by the restaurant and the convenience of the location of the restaurant for the customers. Each of these factors however differs in the degree of importance to the customers.

The quality of the products served at the restaurant and their high level of quality standards are very important to the customers. The survey provided that 91 percent of the respondents indicated they think that hat quality is very important while only 7 percent of the respondent said that of importance. 2 percent of the respondents were oblivious to the quality of the products.

Cleanliness was also amongst the top three important factors for the consumers when choosing a fast food restaurant. 95 percent of the respondents mentioned that cleanliness and hygiene at a fast food restaurant was crucially important as a decision making factor.

The food and customer service at the fast food restaurant was highlighted through the research as the third most important factor which influenced the decision making for the consumers when it came to choosing amongst restaurants for dinning out or ordering. 87 percent of the respondents mentioned service as a very important factor in the selection of the fast food restaurant

The price of the products offered by the fast food restaurants was of medium importance when it cane to the selecting of the fast food restaurants by the consumers the reason for this is the high level of competition in the market which helps in keeping the prices low and stable in the fats food industry. 82 percent of the respondents mentioned price as being an important factor when it came to selecting a fast food restaurant.

The convenience of the location was highlighted by the customers as the least important factor amongst those highlighted above for selecting a fast food restaurant. Only 79 percent of the responded mentioned the convenience of location factor as being important for the selection of a fast food restaurant.

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Differences in Customer Perceptions of Wendy’s Competitors

The research compared the responses of the specific to the important decision/ selection factors in accordance with the five top burger based fast food restaurant chains in the country. These chains included bug names like McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, Checkers and Arby’s. In terms of their preference for these restaurants, the survey provided that the respondents preferred McDonalds the most with 91 percent of the respondents saying they preferred the restaurant and 9 percent of them being indifferent to their preference to McDonalds.

The second preference for the customers was Burger King with 69 percent of the respondents with 92 percent showing their preference for the company while the rest thought did not prefer the restaurant. Wendy’s came in third in the preference table for the consumers with 92 percent of the respondents showing their preference for the restaurant. The Checker and the Arby’s followed and the positions of fourth and fifth preferable restaurants.

The respondents were asked to rate the five fast food restaurants in terms of cleanliness, the service provided, the quality at the restaurants as well as the convenience of the location of the fast food restaurants. The results depicted the following

In terms of quality at the fast food restaurants 21.57 percent of the respondents rated McDonalds as the fast food chain having the best quality. At second place came Burger King with 20.65 percent respondents favoring the restaurant as having high quality. Wendy was at third place of 19.4 percent of the votes favoring the restaurant. Checkers and Arby’s followed with 19.02 percent and 19.25 percent responses in their favor.

Preference in terms of quality

In terms of the hygiene and the cleanliness at the fast food restaurants 21.57 of the respondents rated McDonalds as being most clean and having high cleanliness standards. Second preference as per the results was for the Burger King with 20.64 percent respondents favoring the restaurant as having high quality. Wendy again came at third position with 19.49 percent of the respondents rating the restaurant as being most clean. Checkers and Arby’s followed with 19.02 percent and 19.25 percent responses in their favor.

Preference in terms of cleanliness.

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In terms of the service at the restaurants the results of the survey indicated that the respondents rated Burger King as having the best and the highest level of customer and food service at the restaurants with 21.36 ratings in favor of the restaurant. Wendy’s and Checkers toed for the second preference in terms of customer service with 20.71 percent pf the respondents voting for them. McDonalds was rated by respondents as having the fourth best level of service with 20.26 percent of the respondents support while the Arby’d came in fifth with 19.39 responses in favor of the company.

Preference in terms of service.

When it came to the price factor, the customers responded by rating Checkers as the best and most preferred restaurant with 21.36 percent of the responses in its favor. Burger King and McDonalds followed with responses of 20.04 and 20.48 percent responses in their favor. Wendy’s came in fourth with 19.6 percent responses favoring the company while Arby’s came in fifth position for preference by price.

Preference in terms of price.

The preference of the restaurant as per the convenience of the location depicted that 20.84 percent responses were in favor of McDonalds while Wendy’s came in second with 20.2 percent response favoring the company. Checkers came in third with 20 percent responses favoring the company while Burger King and Arby’s followed with rating responses favoring them by 19.57 and 19.3 percent respectively.

Preference in terms of convinience of location.

Analyze Wendy’s Customers Profile

Wendy’s has been targeting consumers who are from diverse cultures by offering a diverse range of favors in its menu. The recent markets that were being targeted by the company included the Hispanics and the male population of the US (Zuber, 2000). The company is also trying to target those people who eat fast food late at night and fall in the category of teenagers, and young adults. The male population is an attractive segment for the fast food market as they are less concerned about a healthier diet than the females and tend to consume more fried foods and burgers. “It’s also this segment where No. 3.

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Wendy’s wants to do more business. This 4,600-unit chain has always done well among adults. Now it’s rolling out an aggressive ad campaign that targets hamburger-loving young men. Sample copy line from the in-your-face ads: “This is a burger town, pretty boy.”” (‘Bigger Bite of the Burger Market’, 1999)

According to the questionnaire based survey and the data that was gathered using the research tool, the survey indicates that the respondents favored Wendy’s at the third most preferable fast food restaurant in the US. The US fast food industry profile also depicts that Wendy’s has the position of the third most preferred fast food restaurant in the United States. According to this the survey depicts that the customer’s profile of the Wendy’s fast food restaurant includes people with the following characteristics.

The customers of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant dine at the restaurant mostly at the rate of 2-3 times a month while the other majority visits the restaurants 1-2 times a week.

How often do you eat at wendys.

The gender of the customers who favor Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is male. The male population like easting at v more than the female population

Gender.

The marital status of the customers of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is that majority of them are single, never being married while the other majority os of the married customers.

Marital status.

The family size of the customers of Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is that having a majority of one member in the family, while the second most dominant family size is that of two members in a family.

Family size.

The average age of the customers for the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is ranging from people aged between 25 to 40 year of age with the second majority of the customers being those aged between 18-24 years of age.

Your age.

The customers of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant are mostly college graduates while the second majority of customers is that of high school gradates.

Formal education.

The approximate income size for the customers of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant pertains to households that have a combined income of $50,000 to $75,000.

Approximate combined annual imcome of the house hold.

How Should the Market be Segmented

Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant should segment its market according to their demographics as well as according to their preference for food items on the menu. The Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is traditionally a meat hamburger fast food restaurant which has made its menu more diversified to cater to the larger market. However the company needs to highlight its diversified menu and target the various segments of the target market individually to boost sales.

The Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant can divide its market into segments based on the age of the customers, their marital status as well as the gender of the customers. The company needs to target the men as well as the women both to increase overall sales. The age that should be targeted by the company is that if consumers aged between 18 to 27 years of age as these currently do form the major market for the company and are more oriented towards the fast food culture.

The specific items on the menu of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant can also be employed through the marketing strategies to specifically target the consumers who prefer the burgers, the salads and the other kinds of food served at the restaurant.

The company can also employ the behavioral aspect of the customers to target the market. Those frequenting Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant at the different meal times can be targeted separately employing varying strategies which invoke them to come to Wendy’s for their meals.

What Should be the Target Market

The target market for Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant should encompass the current customers of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant as well as those which might not be frequenting the restaurant right now but can be invoked into doing so. This allows for future growth of the company.

The target market for the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant should include consumers who are both male and female and are aged between 18 to 27 years of age. The marital status of the target market should be Single as well as include those who are married with children. The Divorced and the separated segment of the market can also be targeted as single parent or hybrid families who have children consumers.

The family size that should be targeted by the company as its target market should be customers having 0 to 3 dependents who can be their siblings, charges or their children. This would allow the company to cater to larger families than it is doing so right now and provide it room to grow in the future.

The formal education level of the customers for the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant can be very diverse ranging from those customers who are not yet graduated from form high schools, to high school graduates, as well as college graduates.

The target market that should be focused upon by the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is that having an annual combined household income of $50,000 to $100,000. This market would be having more disposable income on their handles, allowing them to have more money to spend at recreational eating joints like fast food restaurants.

Comparison of Competitors

The main competitors of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant can be listed as McDonalds, Burger King, Arby’s, Yum Brands and Checkers. These are all fast food restaurants and burger joints which offer a rage of products and services very similar to that of Wendy’s in the same fast food market.

Burger King is a hamburger based fast food restaurant which operates on a global scale. The company is base din the United States and specializes in different types of burgers. The original menu of the restaurant revolved around burgers, soda, milkshakes and fires but bow has changed to include chicken, fish, salads as well as meals for the different times of the day.

The McDonalds restaurant is the world’s largest fast food chain which has extensively expanded outside the US since inception. The fast food chain is based in the US and provides a diverse range of burgers, sandwiches, ice-cream, salads and meal based combos. Ronald McDonald is a the famous mascot of the restaurant

Checkers is a famous drive through restaurant also based in the United States. The company combines the concept of Checkers with that of Rally to come up with the product and service proposition. The main products provided by the company include hamburgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and French fries.

The Yum Brands owned fast food china KFC is also a direct competitor for Wendy’s. The company is based in the United States as well, but like McDonalds has expanded to multiple international markets. The restaurant is famous for the secret recipe fried chicken, however the combination of fried chicken based burgers provided by the company makes it a direct competitor for Wendy’s.

Arby’s is fast food chain from United States and Canada, which is primarily famous for its roast beef sandwiches and its chicken sandwiches. Other famous products by the company include the potato cakes, the curly fir and the chicken strips. However, the target market for the company is more adult oriented than the target market of the rest of the competitors of Wendy’s.

Customer Profile of Competitors

The customer profile of target market focused on by the competitors of the Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant is very similar to that of Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant. The reason for this is due to the similar nature of the operations, their product offering and the market that they are operating in. The customer profile of the competitors of the v however is depicted below in a comprehensive manner.

The customers that are targeted by McDonalds include those who are aged between 8-30 year olds. The company uses strategic advertising to target the children with its toys combo with the happy meal. The customers of the restaurant include pope who are single, married as well as separated and have 0 to 3 dependents. The gender ratio of the customers for McDonalds is almost equal in ratio with the annual combined income of the households also around $50,000 to $100,000.

The customer profile of KFC, and Burger King is also almost the same as that of McDonalds and Wendy’s. Checkers however caters to the customers who primarily use the drive through facility only and eat on the way or order takeout. The customers of Arby’s however are significantly different than those of the other competitors as they are much older, more mature and have a different taste in fast food. This is clearly depicted in the product offering of Arby’s for its customers.

Relationship between Fast Food Selection Factors and Frequency of Fast Food

There exists a significant relationship between the factors which influence the selection of the fast food restaurants and the frequency of the visits made by the customers to the fast food restaurants. The customers tend to prefer visiting and ordering from the fast food restaurants that cater to their taste and fulfill the important decision making factors of quality, cleanliness, service, price and convenience.

The customers tend to frequent those restaurants more often which have a high level of cleanliness and hygiene standard. Moreover the high level of customer service and product service at the restaurants also increases the frequency of visits made by the customers to the restaurant. The convenience of location also influences the frequency, however the cleanliness, the service and the quality elements take precedence over the convenience of location factor. A restaurant which has low level of food quality tends to receive fewer visits and a declining trend for ales as the visitors do not prefer to visit such restaurants and can substitute them with other better quality offerings restaurants.

References

1999, ‘A Bigger Bite of the Burger Market’, Restaurant Hospitality, Vol. 83 Issue 6, p35, 1/2p, 2 color. Web.

2006, ‘Sticky fingers’, Economist, Vol. 378 Issue 8471, p56-56, 1/2p, 1 color. Web.

2008, ‘Fast Food Industry Profile: United States’, Data Monitor Reports, p1, 30p. Web.

2008, ‘Wendy’s International, Inc. SWOT Analysis’, Data Monitor Reports, p1, 8p. Web.

Cebrzynski, G., 2005, ‘Wendy’s revamps ad, media strategies to zero in on diverse targets’, Nation’s Restaurant News, Vol. 39 Issue 22, p8-8, 1/2p. Web.

Miller, C., 1997, ‘McDonald’s shifts strategy as competitors get stronger’, Marketing News, Vol. 31 Issue 9, p1-10, 2p, 2 graphs. Web.

Strenk , T., 2004, ‘SALADS’, Restaurant Business, Vol. 103 Issue 17, p. 40-40, 1/2p, 2 color. Web.

Zuber, A., 2000, ‘Wendy’s looks to capitalize on morning day part, will target Hispanics’, Nation’s Restaurant New, Vol. 34 Issue 20, p6, 3/5p, 1 color. Web.

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