Which Fast Food Restaurant Is Australia's Favourite?

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Roy Morgan Research has released its figures for Australian takeaway consumption in 2018. The report includes the average number of takeaway visits per month and the ten most popular chains in the country. While the featured restaurants aren't surprising, the ordering did cause us to raise an eyebrow. Domino's Pizza and Subway aren't as popular as you might think.

Despite an increased national push for healthier food options, it would appear fast food is as popular as ever. Approximately 55 per cent of Australians visit fast food restaurants at least once in an average four-week period. This figure almost triples when concentrating on McDonald’s customers, who indulged in their favourite takeaway an average of 2.7 times per month.

Below are the ten most popular fast food brands in Australia, ranked by visitations in the past six months:

As you can see, McDonald’s is still Australia's takeaway franchise of choice. Over half of Australians aged 14+ ate McDonald’s food in this time period. KFC was second on 40.8 per cent.

Here's how the figures break down:

Old favourite McDonald’s is Australia’s leading quick service restaurant with over half of Australians, or 52.7%, eating at or having McDonald’s take away in an average six months, almost 12 percentage points ahead of second placed KFC on 40.8%.

Jostling closely for third place are three quick service restaurants at which just under a third of Australians eat at or have take away in an average six months with Subway on 30.8% just ahead of both Hungry Jack’s on 29.0% and Domino’s Pizza on 28.3%.

We would have thought mounting competition from Subway and Nandos would have made a bigger dent in McDonald's figures, but it seems many of you are still enamoured with the Big Mac. We were also surprised by the relatively low placement of Domino's Pizza. When you consider its flexible home delivery system and sophisticated online presence, one would expect it to place much higher.

According to Roy Morgan Research, McDonald's high placement can be put down to the affordability of its food, extended opening times, large number of drive-through outlets and brand loyalty. The launch of its mobile app has also made ordering easier and quicker for customers.

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Now, it's worth noting that "most visited" doesn't necessarily mean "favourite". Most people prefer a hearty breakfast to plain toast but grab the latter with more frequency because it's easier and cheaper. However, the above fast food franchises are all pretty similar in terms of cost and convenience, with the exception of Grill'd and Nandos which are slightly more upmarket.

For your interest, here's how the rankings compare to Roy Morgan Research's report from 2013:

Image credit: Roy Morgan Research

[Via Ry Morgan Research]


This story has been updated since its original publication.


Comments

    This data doesn't mean anything without also knowing how many outlets each franchise has. McDonald's could be the most popular simply because they have the most stores.

      This, the only fast food within 60km of me is maccas.

      There are more Subways than Maccas worldwide. Not sure which has more in Aus alone.

        Well in my locale there's 5 maccas & 5 subways so yeah. Never really thought about it until then heh.

      Or maybe they have the most stores because they are the most popular?

      Red Rooster is hard to find in WA. I mean its not impossible, but i see Chicken Treat EVERYWHERE and i have to dive close up to an hour to find a red rooster.

        I've heard a lot about Chicken Treat from my WA compatriots, seems to be their answer to Red Rooster. Pity the closest one to me is over 600kms away (one of the rare few stores in QLD)

          Oh god I miss Chicken Treat, growing up, the only chain places in town were Chicken Treat and Red Rooster, and Chicken Treat was far and above the superior of the two.

          I always try and get some when I am back in WA, but its not that much different to Red Rooster these days.

        Really? Where in WA are you? Far more Red Roosters in my part of Perth, but both have been closing stores. They're so similar and still owned by the same company afaik that I wonder why they don't shut one completely.

    What city is this for? I've never even heard of Oporto, or seen one out here in the West.

      they have started popping up, I know of 2 so far.

      That's what I thought! After seeing the logo, though, I remember seeing it in Melbourne. Apparently one in Bentley and one in Vic Park.

      Oporto is everywhere in NSW at least (they started in Bondi). Wasn't aware they didn't have a big presence interstate.

        I haven't ever heard of them, nor do i have any idea what they are. I'll have to google.

          A fast food chain specialising in chicken burgers, often with some kind of chilli on it. They were one of the first to start the whole "fresh, not frozen" advertising slogan.

      one in Vic Park (near Canning Hwy) next to the Maccas. Chicken Treat closed down.

    Yeah, no-one is going to get close to Mc Donald's, not with the services and price they offer. The fact you can go there at 3am and pay $5 to get a (fairly shitty) meal, really makes them stand on their own.

    I'm surprised KFC is second. I suppose number of outlets comes into play there. But I imagine they're haemorrhaging customers now days, given how awful they've been over the last couple of years.

      I personally haven't eaten at KFC for more than 15 years.

      I hadn't eaten KFC in 8 years after a food poisoning episode, and when I had one recently it was microwaved buns with chewy obviously nowhere near fresh chicken. While the rest of the industry have grown in quality and freshness, KFC have just stagnated and made flashy celebrity based adverts.

        Yeah, I mean even Macca's, which in my mind is the lowest of low for fast food, is actually kind of fresh, being made on demand and all. I'm not sure what their chip turnover is, though, I find that's where KFC is pretty consistent with it's crapness, stale, luke-warm, under/over salted chips.

        My local KFC seems to have the very strange thing of not having chicken ready for lunch time. Which is just pathetic really, your main product, isn't ready to sell when your customers are expecting it. It's pretty much the core of your business, and they can't seem to get that right.

          Maccas are the lowest of low? really? So what's KFC then? and Hungry jacks is just similar to Macca's with worse service and management.

          Mcdonald's are easily the most well managed of the franchises and you usually get what you expect, KFC is absolutely terrible, and the food is absolutely shit.

            Yeah, I consider Maccas to be like the fast food "default". The food isn't that great, really not good for you (unless your getting a salad), and is there FAST. It would be probably the place of last resort for me, when getting food. The quintessential fast food outlet.

            KFC, some how, falls below this. It's like their management saw how Maccas was run, and decided they did everything wrong, tried to "fix it" and ended up fucking it up royally in the process. Maccas, as a company, is run extraordinarily well. The fact they can get their stores looking so clean, staff so well presented and (in some cases) trained, and the food so consistent, shows they're doing things right. KFC fuck all of that up.

            HJ's, can't say I visit often enough to compare them. I went there the other night in between pubs on a night out. It was fine. Just the same as Maccas, just a little different.

          If you want fresh chips, just ask for them without salt and put your own on later

            Sorry, not "salt", "seasoning".... It's not the same using regular salt, you need that MSG!

              Everyone needs the MSG! Without it there would be absolutely not flavour to maccas at all

        Exactly my experience with KFC. Food poisoning 8 years ago, never went back.

        I am very surprised to see KFC bought so much. Hunks of seagull and rabbit meat tossed in stale breadcrumbs and left soaking in congealed oil for weeks at a time. Or "surgery left overs" as Chris himself called a recent taste test.

        I am guessing the company who did this survey polled only the bogan areas of Sydney and Melbourne?

    This should have taken the number of outlets available in the calculation. This is misleading data otherwise

      Although perhaps some chains have more outlets because of their popularity?

      While number of outlets obviously gives an advantage to the established players, when comparing two established franchises it might just indicate that one managed to gain more market share in the past.

        it still doesnt make it for an even playing field. Also not all of them offer breakfast, not all of them are open 24hrs, these are things that are needed to be taken into consideration if you want to make a fair comparison.

    The menu items would play a big part in this list I think. Domino's home delivery with a minimum $20 spend (and the large amout of food that comes with that) can't really be compared to popping into the drive-thru at McDonalds on the way home and spending $2 on a burger.

    Annnnnddd, maccas serves breakfast whereas KFC, dominos and all the others (except for subway) do not. That probably helps a lot too. We have lots of Oportos in QLD, I think of it as budget Nandos

      Maccas, KFC, Subway, HJ, Oporto, Red Rooster serve breakfast. Yeah KFC serve chicken for breakfast, gross.

      Not all of them are open 24hrs either. Actually, i think Maccas is the only one that have some 24hr stores

        It would have the most 24h stores but HJ's definitely have 24h stores and i think subway do too.

    I'm not sure that KFC, Oporto and Red Rooster serve breakfast in most of their locations, but yeah I forgot about Hungry Jacks.

    Personally I like mcdonalds because their food isn't THAT bad for you (comparatively speaking) - and usually even for the worse items on their menu don't just taste like grease. It's not perfect, but they try, and that's about all you can ask.

    There's definitely some info missing from this article. Oporto aren't in WA or Tas, so where did the people in this survey live? Did newer chains like PieFace or SumoSalad get included? Also, this survey is only looking at the most popular chain - I'd argue that while McDonalds is the most popular chain, it's probably not the most popular takeaway food. My local mall has 4 sushi shops to 1 McDonalds!

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