Quick-service restaurants have an opportunity to capitalize on Hispanic customers who tend to visit brands in the segment more often and spend more per transaction compared when with other demographic groups, according to a new study from Univision Communications Inc.
The Hispanic-focused media company partnered with research firm Burke Inc. to conduct a poll of 1,250 Hispanics and an equal number of non-Hispanic consumers about their habits and attitudes toward quick-service restaurants.
Among the study’s key findings is the fact that the 50 million Latinos living in the United States have the collective purchasing power of $1 trillion and spend much of that disposable income with quick-service restaurant brands. The demographic group’s 8.2 billion visits to quick-service restaurants represent 17 percent of the segment’s traffic, and the group’s $43 billion in annual quick-service restaurant purchases accounts for 18 percent of all dollars spent in the segment.
Univision also found that Hispanic consumers tend to:
Represent quick service’s most frequent guests. On average, Hispanic consumers visit quick-service restaurants 10 times in a 30-day period, the study found. Younger Latinos in the Millennial age group visit even more frequently, at 12 times per a 30-day period. All other demographic groups averaged seven visits to quick-service restaurants per 30 days, and non-Hispanic Millennials average eight visits per month.
Dine in groups. The demographic group is likely to have 2.9 people in the party during a typical quick-service restaurant visit across all dayparts, compared with 2.1 people per party in the general population, the study found. Thirty-four percent of Hispanic customers are likely to bring children to the restaurants, compared with 25 percent of non-Hispanics. Also, 28 percent of Hispanics are likely to bring other family members, compared with 20 percent of non-Hispanics, and 25 percent of Hispanics are likely to bring friends with them, compared with 18 percent of non-Hispanics.
Yield more profit per transaction. Across all dayparts except dinner, Hispanics have higher average visitation numbers than other demographic groups. According to the study, 47 percent of Latino customers recently visited a quick-service restaurant for breakfast, compared with 30 percent of all other demographic groups, and 34 percent visited for a late-afternoon snack, compared with 17 percent of non-Hispanic customers.
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Latinos also exhibit other purchasing behaviors like buying beverages and ordering in person that result in more profit for quick-service restaurants. For instance, 93 percent of customers in that demographic group order food and a beverage when visiting a quick-service location, compared with 78 percent of non-Hispanics, who forgo a beverage purchase and deny the restaurant a chance to benefit from drinks’ high profit margins. Non-Hispanics are more likely to use coupons than Hispanics, as 30 percent of the former reported using a coupon recently to only 25 percent of the latter.
When ordering, Hispanics get an average of 2.9 menu items and have an average check of $8.90, compared with 2.4 items on average and a check average of $7.95 for non-Hispanics.
Value community over convenience. Other demographic groups collectively are most likely to say they return to quick-service restaurants for a quick meal, at 79 percent, but Latino customers identify other reasons why they are drawn to such locations. Their most popular reasons included spending time with family, 44 percent; treating their children, 30 percent; and spending time with friends, 21 percent.
Univision noted in its report that Hispanics said they were more likely to try new restaurants if those locations provided a community atmosphere, fresh foods, healthful menu items and Hispanic ingredients.
Explore varying menu items and foods. As with the general population, the burger segment of quick-service dominates awareness among Hispanic consumers, Univision’s report found, with 96 percent of Latino survey respondents saying they were likely to eat at a burger restaurant. However, 72 percent of that group’s respondents also said they likely would eat at a sandwich concept and 66 percent said they likely would patronize a pizza brand.
“In other words,” Univision wrote in a statement about the report’s findings, “[Hispanic customers] are open to building a relationship with any type of food establishment that fulfills their unique needs and appetites. Once a brand establishes a relationship with Hispanic consumers, they become even more loyal customers than non-Hispanics.”
New York-based Univision reaches 97 percent of Hispanic households in the United States and is one of the five largest broadcasters in the country.