Why Quick-Service Restaurants Need to Cook Up Ways to Engage Hispanics

Why Quick-Service Restaurants Need to Cook Up Ways to Engage Hispanics
Hispanics are big business for the quick-service restaurant business. With Hispanics currently comprising 20% of quick-service sales and the Hispanic population expected to increase by 20% in the next ten years, quick-service operators could benefit by boosting their engagement efforts. QSRMagazine.com offered some enticing strategies for appealing to Hispanic consumers.

Speaking Their Language
Since most Hispanics are bilingual, it’s important for brands to convey their messages in both English and Spanish to increase brand affinity.

This bilingual outreach is especially important in the quick-service restaurant sector, according to Univision Communications Inc executives, who cited these fast food findings:

  • Hispanics make up $1 out of every $5 spent in quick-service restaurants.
  • Hispanic consumers, especially those who speak Spanish as their primary language, visit these restaurants most frequently.
  • Hispanic consumers average higher checks than non-Hispanic visitors.

Jack in the Box is one quick-service brand that’s been paying attention to these Hispanic trends. In fact, they created an entire collection of Spanish-language ads that run in targeted California markets, among other efforts. Their focus on Hispanics is already reaping rewards. The brand earned the honor of “Regional Trailblazer” at the first Restaurant Trailblazers award ceremony at the Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) this year. The RLC recognizes restaurant chains that have gone to great lengths to reach and engage Hispanic consumers. The ceremony also distinguished quick-service leaders Papa John’s, Sonic, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, and Chipotle, as well as the casual-dining franchises Chili’s, IHOP, and Denny’s.

Strategies for Succes
Some quick-service operators may not be comfortable marketing to such a new and fast-growing demographic, but the RCL is striving to show them that the marketing process is not much different. A brand simply needs to convey who they are in way that resonates with Hispanic consumers.

So rather than redesign the menu with Latin American choices, quick-service operators can just market their menu and message in Spanish, as well as highlight special values. And while family is a factor for all markets, it is especially important to Hispanics who tend have larger families than non-Hispanics. As a result, operators should create and convey a family-friendly environment that welcomes groups of all sizes with ease.

Quick-service brands should also realize that Hispanic favorites like telenovelas, soccer, and music are outstanding media platforms for reaching these consumers. They offer extensive reach to the Hispanic community and show this market that a brand really values them.

“If you make that effort, this consumer really appreciates it, and if you make them feel welcome and know that they’re going to be welcome, it really means a lot,” said Peter Filiaci, vice president of strategy and insights at Univision Communications Inc. “We’ve seen over the years that you really experience positive results as a consequence of that outreach.”

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