Fast food is embraced by consumers because it tastes and looks good. It also fits well with the activities of daily life. Fast Food Chains are more global than ever due to an increase in the consumption of fast foods. It’s widely accepted that marketing strategies should aim at understanding consumers’ tastes and preferences. Marketing strategies of fast foods aren’t any different. They focus on a sound understanding of consumers’ preferences and perceptions for fast food outlets and how they might differ across countries/cultures Fast Food Chains use various strategies that ensure their foothold is intact in the ever diverse and modern culture.
There are basic marketing strategies that these chains employ to sell their product. They include:
- Volume and VisibilityConsumers should have an easy time looking for fast food restaurants. As a result, individual chains tend to open many restaurants in close proximity. It seems like over-saturation but it’s a key marketing strategy for Fast Food Chains. Continuous trails of fast food brand names/logos have also become part of everyday life in order to popularize a fast food company. Fast Food giant McDonald has done extensive branding with well-known entities such as the Olympics and FIFA to increase its global visibility. Easy access to fast food chains promotes their brand as well as underscoring ease and convenience which are hallmarks of the fast food industry.
- Value and affordability even though fast food chains often than not react to the needs and moods of consumers, they also emphasize on value and affordability of their product. These qualities have become an overall marketing strategy, especially in tight economies. For instance, Fast Food Chains use free samples and value menus with items for as low as $1 to entice cash-strapped customers. Additionally, side orders, discounts, are essential in promoting value and affordability to customers.
- Market Segmentation to identify various groupsMarket segmentation is a key marketing strategy that fast food restaurants employ to sell their product. It aims at identifying the key or rather common buying groups that tend to patronize fast food chains in a certain area. It is important for the chain to understand these groups in order to maximize profit. Factors perceived important by consumers are also part of market segmentation that Fast Food Chains focus on. Some buyers may consider friendly staff, variety, and speed as important factors in choosing their chain of choice while others may think of promotional deals and prices as the most important factors.
- Health Conscious StrategyMost people nowadays are more conscious than ever about their health. Fast food chains have time and again been criticized for offering processed food that has high-fat content. Consequently, they have been forced to incorporate foods that promote healthy living. Fast food Chains have started offering whole foods and low-calorie options in menus-it’s geared towards the satisfaction of customers that are health conscious.
- Social Responsibility StrategyFast Food Chains have started adopting green advertising campaigns (through packaging) to present themselves as entities that share the general public’s concern regarding environment and health. This strategy is aimed at buyers who try as much as possible to purchase foods that reflect their values of environment protection. With this marketing strategy, they can purchase fast foods without compromising what they believe in.
The big 4 outlets are:
Burger King, Sonic, Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr and Jack in the box.
Others are: Arby’s , A & W Restaurant, Astro Burger, and Fat Burger.