Pizza Hut has gained the most in value perception with fast food eaters in the annual QSR battle against January sales doldrums in the US.
Burger King had the second biggest jump in January, followed by Taco Bell. Jack In The Box also had a sizable bump through the first half of January. Wendy’s remained on top of the value perception chart, while KFC lost a bit of ground in value perception.
People normally cut back on their QSR spending in January after binging for December holiday shopping. To keep up revenue numbers, dining chains roll out bargain specials to lure customers back into their doors.
QSR dining chains were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Value score, which asks respondents "Which of the following brands do you think provides good / poor value for money.” The results were filtered for adults 18+ who had eaten at a fast food restaurant in the past month.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Pizza Hut’s “$10 for any pizza” promotion, backed by a red-tinted ad campaign featuring a guitarist singing “here’s a deal, an amazing pizza steal,” likely contributed to the chain’s value score increase of 12 points in January, from 22 to 34. Rival Papa John’s is selling any large pizza for $11, and the brand’s value score increased a more modest 4 points.
Burger King, stealing from last year’s Wendy’s playbook, focused on its new French fry recipe in new ads, while mailing out tons of coupon books. The burger chain gained 9 points in value score, from 23 to 32.
Taco Bell was up 5 points from 27 to 33 after it brought back its 99-cent Beefy Crunchy Burrito to the menu for a limited time.
Jack in The Box rose from 7 to 14 in the middle of the month on the coattails of a $4.29 meal featuring a Jumbo Jack hamburger, two tacos, fries and a soft drink. Since then, they have drifted down to 9 points.
One chain didn’t fare as well as others: KFC promoted $11 Weekend Buckets, reduced from its normal price of $14.99. The chain had a short term modest boost during the first week of January, only to see their value perception score decline to pre-January levels and come close to Jack In The Box’s scores. By the time January 30th rolled around, KFC ended up at the same score where they started the month, around 19.