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McDonald’s, KFC & Subway most visited Aussie restaurants

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 15,067 Australians aged 14+.
New research from Roy Morgan shows over 17 million Australians aged 14+ (84.5%) buy or eat take away food whether from leading fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC or Subway or from the local fish and chips shop, pizza shop, convenience store or the like.

Although an increasing number of Australians are turning to the convenience of meal delivery services such as Uber Eats and Foodora which we covered in detail last week, traditional fast food restaurants still hold sway for large numbers of Australians.

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%.

Top 10 Quick Service Restaurants eat at or have take away in an average six months – 12 months to March 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 15,067 Australians aged 14+.

Generation Z most ‘hooked’ on McDonald’s & KFC

Analysing the leading quick service restaurants by generation shows that McDonald’s and KFC are the two top quick service restaurants for all five generations. McDonald’s is preferred to KFC by between 11-13 percentage points across the generations.

Patronage of leading quick service restaurants is heavily correlated to age with Generation Z the most likely to eat at McDonald’s (67.3%) and KFC (56%) while Pre-Boomers are the least likely of the generations to eat at either. Only 26.5% of Pre-Boomers eat at McDonald’s and only 15.1% eat at KFC.

Subway is the third most popular quick service restaurant for Pre-Boomers (14.8%), Baby Boomers (21.3%) and Generation X (32.7%). Hungry Jack’s comes in third for Generation Y on 36.9% and Domino’s Pizza is third for Generation Z, on 42.2%.

Top 2 Quick Service Restaurants eat at or have take away in an average six months by Generation – 12 months to March 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 15,067 Australians aged 14+.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says new research shows the explosion of meal delivery services in recent years has barely impacted on Australians love of traditional fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC, Subway and Hungry Jack’s:

“Over 17 million Australians eat take away food and despite the burgeoning food choices available in recent years McDonald’s remains clearly the most visited fast food restaurant in the country. Over half of Australians aged 14+ (52.7%) eat McDonald’s in an average six months while traditional fast food rival KFC is second on 40.8%.

“Nearly a third of Australians eat Subway, Hungry Jack’s or Domino’s Pizza food in an average six months and Domino’s Pizza is now the third most popular restaurant for the upcoming Generation Z.

“Other leading fast food outlets include Red Rooster, and the reigning 2017 Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award Winner Grill’d. Over 10% of Australians eat Red Rooster or Grill’d in an average six months.

“The consistently high customer satisfaction performance for Grill’d is certainly delivering the gourmet burger restaurant an increasing customer base as a relatively new entrant to the market. Grill’d opened its first store just over a decade ago in 2004 while other leading fast food chains have been in Australia since the 1980s (Domino’s Pizza and Subway) or even earlier.

“Advances in technology mean ordering food via an app on your mobile phone is easier than ever. To remain relevant when services including gourmet food experiences are quite literally at your fingertips quick service restaurants such as McDonald’s, KFC, Grill’d, Domino’s Pizza and others need to understand their customers and provide for their needs, wants and desires better than ever before.

“Roy Morgan’s analytical tools including the powerful psychographic segmentation of Roy Morgan Helix Personas provide unique depth to understanding the customers Australia’s fast food restaurants are chasing and what foods and services these customers prefer to enjoy – and where to find them.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%