Retail Site Selection for Fast Food Restaurants or QSRs

Retail Trends Have Changed

While smartphones and technological advances have created the convenience for consumers to do just about anything with the simple push of a button, somehow it seems our society has never been busier. We are always on the go. Studies have shown that on average, today’s consumer spends approximately 30% more time in their vehicles than ten years ago.

Part #2: Fast Food or Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR)

The one retail sector that has seen the greatest benefit from today’s hustle-and-bustle society is the Fast Food industry (or Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR)). 

As mentioned in Part #1 of this blog series, all retailers rely on traffic counts and accessibility of their location. And, like convenience stores (C-Stores), QSRs benefit greatly from traffic counts, but they must also consider proximity to their customers. 

Until recently, very few QSRs focused on the A.M. or “breakfast consumer.” For years, except for a handful of fast-food chains like McDonald’s, most QSRs only focused on the lunch and dinner or P.M. consumer. Therefore, being on the P.M. side of the road was a must.

However, with retail markets becoming heavily saturated with QSRs, coupled with the increased capital tied up in a restaurant, QSRs have been forced to start offering a breakfast menu. In some cases, the small margin of revenue that breakfast sales now provide has become a crucial component in a QSR’s profitability.

The one QSR statistic that has remained a constant, however, is that the P.M. consumer is most likely to visit a QSR within 1-2 miles (5-7 minutes) from their home. 

Most experts contribute this trend to two major factors: familiarity of surroundings and being able to eat a hot meal at home. So, unlike C-Stores, proximity to rooftops must be considered when choosing a QSR site. While C-Stores can rely solely on traffic counts, QSRs cannot.

With the addition of breakfast menus, more and more QSRs that once wanted to be on the P.M. side of the road will now select the best site in a desired trade area. Therefore, working with a seasoned site selection advisor can be extremely helpful in determining and identifying the ideal location to best capitalize on the surrounding market.

Stay Tuned… Part #3 – Drug Stores

If you are interested in a site selection specialist, or for questions regarding your commercial real estate property, contact J. Collier Thornton at (225) 926-4481 or

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