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Local Advertising for Quick Serve Restaurants Expected to Hit $4 Billion This Year, With High Use of Direct Mail and Embrace of Mobile Targeting, According to New BIA Vertical Report

Jun 24, 2019

Report Includes Local Case Study from MRI-Simmons to Examine Ad Spend Versus Media Consumption in Washington, DC

QSR InfographicCHANTILLY, Va. (June 24, 2019) – The Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) category, including well-known national brands and less-known regional and local favorites, will come close to spending $4 billion in local advertising this year, as reported in BIA Advisory Services’ latest vertical industry report, Insights into Local Advertising – QSRs.” The report forecasts that digital advertising will rise from 36 percent in 2019 to 44 percent by 2023, although the entire category will dip slightly over the next few years, before exceeding its 2019 level.

Although the lion’s-share of the spending will go to direct mail, at nearly 30 percent, the industry has also been faster to adopt mobile advertising than most, and will spend slightly over $500 million, or 12.8%. The “Insights into Local Advertising” report also notes that the per capita ad spending in the QSR vertical varies significantly from market to market, even in the 10 largest markets.

“Local advertising plays a critical role in the QSR category even for national brands,” said Rick Ducey, BIA’s managing director and report author. “As one marketing director noted to us, ‘if you don’t have a relationship with your community, you won’t have a business for long; (local advertising) is an investment, not a cost.’”

Opportunities for Media Sellers

Ducey also noted that media sellers can offer valued insights, information, and grounded recommendations for appropriate campaign strategies as the QSR marketing mix gets more dynamically driven by data, technology, competition and industry specific factors.

To examine the media consumption of QSR customers, the report offers a local case study from MRI-Simmons. Looking at SimmonsLOCAL data for Adults 18+ (DC A18+) in the Washington, DC market, the case study identified the most heavily used media (i.e., top two volume users groups) profile where ads are consumed:

  1. Internet and TV, each used by 40 percent,
  2. Radio (38 percent)
  3. Magazines (35 percent)
  4. Newspaper (29 percent)

“In this report, combining BIA’s forecast and takeaways from a leading U.S. market, we recommend five major factors for local media sellers to consider when working with local QSR outlets,” said Ducey. “Our strategic advice is based on where the technology is going and the trends we’ve observed.”

About the QSR Vertical Ad Report

The report “Insights in Local Advertising – Quick Service Restaurant Industry” examines local media spending trends and consumer media usage habits in the QSR industry. The report offers the following analysis:

  • Profiles QSR ad spending by media for 2018 and 2023 to reveal growth and declines.
  • Examines the per capita QSR Ad spend across top 10 TV Markets
  • Provides a local case study from MRI-Simmonsshowing how different demos view and react to Chipotle advertising
  • Offers five local strategies local media sellers could adopt to become better marketing partners with their current and prospective QSR clients

The data featured in the report is drawn from BIA ADVantage that includes BIA’s 2019 U.S. Ad Forecast for all TV and radio markets across 94 verticals, including QSRs. It also includes data from the Fall 2017 SimmonsLOCAL study,  for consumer usage of ads in the Washington, DC, courtesy of MRI-Simmons.

Accessing the Report

BIA ADVantage subscribers can login to access the report and run custom QSR reports for local markets. The report can be purchased on our shop.

About BIA Advisory Services

BIA Advisory Services is the leading authority for data-centered insights, analysis, strategic consulting and valuation services for the local media industry. Since 1983, BIA has been a valuable resource for traditional and digital media companies, brands and agencies, the financial and legal community serving media and telecom, as well as the FCC and other government agencies. Today, we offer comprehensive local market advertising intelligence in our BIA ADVantage service to help clients discover the path to their best opportunities. Learn more about our offerings at

Media Contacts:
MacKenzie Lovings
(703) 802-2991

Robert Udowitz
(703) 621-8060