Fast Food Ratings: ABC Is The Top Network For QSR Visitors

'Visitors to top five fast food restaurants watch roughly 12 percent more TV than the general population,' says NinthDecimal's Sable Mi.

The correlation between couch potatoes and people who are apt to go out for french fries is a pretty clear one, research from location analytics provider NinthDecimal shows.

For one thing, visitors to top five fast food restaurants watch roughly 12 percent more TV than the general population, says Sable Mi, VP, Head of Research & Insights for NinthDecimal.

Television and mobile advertising are about even in terms of U.S. ad spending — each roughly $70 billion each last year, according to eMarketer figures — but the two work particularly well in terms of driving and understanding audiences, as research from location analytics provider NinthDecimal shows.

Source: NinthDecimal

So determining where dollars are being spent — and how effective they are to determine where they should go — is something that brands are constantly refining.

NinthDecimal matched its own cross-platform attribution findings, with digital video recorder TiVo’s ratings information, and found that ABC was most watched network among the top five QSRS: McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell.

Meanwhile, Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland, was the No. 1 show watched among customers from 4 out of the top 5 QSRs, followed by Dancing With The Stars and Grey’s Anatomy.

“The consumer insights from our research is meant to reveal how QSR brands can leverage data from location-based intelligence to create a more informed view of their customers and to increase effectiveness of their TV planning and marketing, which does not necessarily have to include geo-targeted ads,” says NinthDecimal’s Mi. “In fact, findings from our research demonstrate how location data can help marketers move beyond a single moment in time by focusing on understanding who their customers are.

“In this case, we are using location data to uncover viewing behavior from content to channel to dayparts,” Mi continued. QSR brands or franchisees can apply this information to strengthen their customer relationships or help inform their conquesting strategies. As for content providers, they can leverage the data to increase viewership by taking actions such as enhancing tune-ins or supporting their advertising efforts.”

Dancing With The Stars is a favorite with QSR customers.Some of the other highlights in NinthDecimal’s report:

  • The 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament is the only sporting event to make the list of most popular programs across all 5 QSRs.
  • Looking back at last year’s awards, A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees indexed 11 percent higher among fast food diners than the general population.
  • Fast food diners are more likely to tune into cable networks to catch up on news. MSNBC beats Fox News as the No. 1 cable network for 4 out of the top 5 QSRs. Outside of news networks, HGTV is the most-watched cable network, especially on weekends.
  • McDonald’s diners are more likely to watch cable news on weekdays during the evening, while Taco Bell diners watch less news, more “lighter” content on weekends.
  • On average Wendy’s diners watched less drama/reality TV than the average diner at top 5 QSRs: down 7 percent for Designated Survivor, 8 percent for Grey’s Anatomy; 3 percent for Dancing with the Stars, and 6 percent for Survivor.


About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.