Listen up, all quick-service restaurant franchises: A recent survey of more than 1,000 consumers nationwide found that convenience and speed were the top two factors influencing respondents' choices of fast-food eateries. Price ranked a surprising seventh on the list of concerns behind easy access and friendly service.
"Yes, price is an element, but there are other factors that come into play as well," explains Sheila McCusker of Advo Inc., the Windsor, Connecticut, direct-marketing company that designed the study.
The survey also found that younger consumers aged 18 to 24 rated restaurants with drive-thru windows nearly 20 percent higher than did those aged 50 and older. And when it comes to loyalty, pizza restaurants seem to have what it takes to keep hungry customers coming back: Nearly 50 percent of pizza eaters stick to their favorite chain vs. 25 percent of those who prefer burgers or chicken.