The evolving QSR category

January 3, 2022

Today's cannabis and CBD consumers are the ideal QSR audience: frequent and influential customers who enjoy eating out, on-the-go and at-home dining.

The evolving QSR category

Fast food becomes an at-home experience

Like so many other businesses, the last two years have reshaped the nature of the Fast Food restaurant category.

Today, QSR dining is increasingly an “at-home” dining experience in tandem with “on-the-go.”

According to the Deloitte “Restaurant of the Future” trends report released in December 2021, the growth of delivery and takeout will continue to impact the restaurant business.

There is a changing dynamic for how consumers use the category––Two years ago 18% of consumers ordered delivery/takeout at least once a week. One year ago that number was 29% and this year, an astounding 61% of consumers are taking out.


According to QSR Web, pre-pandemic dine-in visits represented 28% of total QSR visits, and in the year ending Sept. 2021, dine-in represented only 14% of traffic share. On-premises visits to QSRs are 52% below pre-pandemic levels and off-premises are 16% above pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022 QSR marketers will be facing a dual challenge – driving top line growth by winning a greater share of on-premise and off-premise dining. In this new arena, click and collect and ordering isn’t an alternative to dining in, but just another facet of the restaurant experience.

The new category marketing challenge and opportunity is winning both the on-premise and in-home occasion; for brands that historically focused heavily on on-premise and drive-through, marketing’s new end-game will be winning the consumer’s next trip as well as the immediate “i’m hungry” moment.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see QSR category advertising begin to adopt strategies from DTC response-driven campaigns–targeting and engaging more responsive audiences via programmatic digital and video at scale.

For growth-driven QSR marketers, today’s cannabis and CBD consumer may be the ideal target audience– they’re frequent and influential QSR customers who enjoy the trifecta of fast food on-premise, on-the-go and at home dining.

According to MRI Simmons Research, almost 90% of cannabis & CBD consumers visited a QSR restaurant or ordered for delivery in the past 30 days.

In addition, Cannabis & CBD consumers are “all day” and “every day” QSR diners – turning to fast food restaurants for multiple meals and snack occasions throughout their day and week.


They’re also more likely to be engaged in the category even when they’re home – with 39% using ordering/delivery apps to satisfy their cravings. They’re likely to use the restaurant’s own site/app to order as well as Doordash, GrubHub and UberEats.

To learn more about cannabis and CBD consumers’ affinity for quick service restaurants, download the Cannabis Consumer Insights: QSR onesheet.

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