Fast food industry is known as one of the fastest growing industry of this modern world. Due to modern and fast life, people stay outside for large time of the day. It leads them to rely on fast food restaurants instead of homemade foods (Rehm & Drewnowski, 2016, 804). Moreover, in order to spend some time with family members and nearest people, they often visit restaurants. Thus, the market demand of the fast food chains is increasing day by day. Especially, in countries like United States of America where people lead fast lives often look for new restaurants to satisfy their taste buds. According to reports, the annual revenue of American fast food industry in 2015 was around $200 billion, which has increased from $6 billion (An, 2016, 97). The report has suggested that this revenue will increase up to 2.5% in next two years.
This article has identified different consumer segments of the fast food restaurants. It has analysed the relation between different segments of consumers and their importance.
Fast food restaurants mainly have three sets of target market, such as- primary target market, secondary target market and tertiary target market that can be segmented into three groups. They are mentioned below:
Locality: People from urban area mainly consume fast food. Thus, the demand of fast food centre is high among urban people (Garza et al., 2016, 61-68). People from rural areas, does not visit the restaurants regularly with family and friends or spend money on fast food centres.
Age: The demand of fast food restaurants is comparatively higher among the people from the age group of 12-45. It has been evident that people from this young group consume fast food on regular basis. It is known that after 45, people often become victim of various diseases, such as- blood pressure, diabetes and so on. Due to health related concern, people after the young age do not prefer to consume fast food (Mazidi & Speakman, 2017, 603-613).
Occupation: People that work in offices or travel for long times eat more fast food than the people who stay at home, as it is not possible for the working people to carry sufficient food everywhere. It leads them to choose fast food restaurants. Moreover, team leaders and management often organize team meetings in restaurants. It is another reason for their high rate of consumption of fast food. Working people order foods from various restaurants as well (Athens, Duncan & Elbel, 2016, 1266-1275).
Moreover, not only working people, school and college going students also purchase and eat huge amount of fast food. They often hang out in restaurants with their friends and visit restaurants with their family and parents as well.
People who enjoy fast foods like burger, pizza, pasta, noodles and so on often become addicted to these food items and habituated to eat such foods (Schaider et al., 2017, 105-111). Thus, continuous consumption of fast food shape their behaviour in such a manner that they cannot resist themselves to visit the fast food centres and grab their favourite food items.
There are many people within the society that are food lovers. Such people love to experiment with new food items and try new cuisines. Thus, in order to satisfy their taste buds, they often visit new restaurants and food hubs (Zota, Phillips & Mitro, 2016, 1521). Thus, the demand of fast food restaurants is higher among such food lovers. It is their psychological nature that influences their consumption process.
All the segments of restaurants are interrelated. They are connected with each other. As discussed earlier, people from urban area possess high demand for fast food and various restaurants. It can be evident that young people from urban area that are working in some offices or studying in schools and colleges mainly rely of restaurants (Barnes et al., 2016, 885-892). Thus, all the groups from demographic segment are interconnected.
At the same time, demographic segment of consumers of restaurants are related with behavioural segment, as when people stay outside of their house and consume restaurant’s food for several years while studying or working, it becomes their habit (Burger Chakraborty et al., 2016, 559-570). Although, it may put negative impact on their health, they cannot control their rate of fast food consumption. Thus, the relation between the demographic segment and behavioural segment can be understood by this analysis.
On the other hand, all the people that consume fast food regularly may not have any kind of serious or constructive reason. Many people are influenced by their taste buds to leave their home cooked food for their favourite fast food delicacies (Esmaeilpour, Mohamadi & Rajabi, 2016, 30-46). Hence, psychological segment is also related with other segments.
As the number of professional people and urbanised lifestyle is increasing within the society, fast food restaurant owners are using this opportunity to expand their business. The selected geographical area in this scenario is United States of America (Sadeghirad et al., 2016, 945-959). By analysing the fast food industry of America, it can be observed that all the renowned fast food chains, such as- McDonald’s, KFC, Dominos and Burger king has large number of outlets in various parts of the USA (Emond et al., 2016, 158-163). Moreover, all other existing and new players of this industry focus on America from other parts of the world while expanding their business in the global market. One of the main reasons for such growth in fast food industry of America is its social structure. Thus, world’s largest economy of America has put a strong and positive impact on the on the growth of fast food restaurants. It will not be possible for the managers of fast food restaurants without the support of demographical, behavioural and psychological segment of target market (Nixon & Doud, 2016, 181-194).
As discussed earlier, the target market of fast food restaurants can be divided into three different groups, such as- primary target market, secondary target market and tertiary target market.
Primary Target Market: Primary target market of any product or service is people that help businesses to get the best profit margin and maintain the sales of the organization. Business organizations mainly pay attention to the preference of this group of consumers (Büyüközkan, G., Mukul, E., & Uztürk 2016, 437). Such people may not be large in group, but the growth of any organization is highly dependent on them. In this scenario, primary target market of this product is the people that enjoy the product regularly or that love to spend time on restaurants for various purposes (Sadler et al., 2016, eS14-eS20). They mainly grab the attention of other sets of consumers.
Secondary Target Market: Secondary target market of products may not give the best sell to the organization like primary target market, but their purchasing behaviour is greatly influenced by the preference of the primary target market (Serrat, 2017 119-128). It is often evident that teenagers often influence their parents or couple influence each other to visit restaurants with them and consume food (Mazidi & Speakman, 2017, 603-613). Parents organize birthday parties and family get together for their kids on their favourite restaurants. It increases sales of restaurants. Restaurant owners make sure that they are able to convince secondary target markets as well.
Tertiary Target Market: Tertiary target market is completely dependent on the previously mentioned two groups of consumers, as they consume any product or service due to the influence of primary and secondary target market (Büyüközkan, G., Mukul, E., & Uztürk 2016, 437). Tertiary target market of restaurants is the people that visit with the primary and secondary target market and they may not prefer the food as much as primary target market. They mainly visit as a part of the team of other targeted consumers. It can be older members of the family, such as- grandparents. Due to physical issues and age, they may not have any personal urge for junk foods. However, they visit with their other family members (Rehm & Drewnowski, 2016, 804).
Primary Target Market
Youths of the USA society has high consumption of fast food.
Secondary Target Market
The parents of USA are also influenced by the preference of their kids and it motivates them to visit fast food restaurants often.
Tertiary Target Market
Grandparents of the families are also sometime taken to the restaurants with other family members.
Table: market Segmentation of Fast Food Restaurants
By analysing various segments of consumers of fast food restaurants, it can be observed that youth of the society that stays outside for long period of time mainly enjoy fast food. Thus, the demographical segment of consumers can be considered as the primary target market, as it includes the working and youths of the society from urban area, as they mainly prefer the taste of fast foods and they encourage their parents and near and dear ones to visit the place with them (D’Angelo et al., 2016, 1556-1562). Thus, restaurant owners design their product structure as per the requirement of the primary target market or young people of the society, so they can drag their attention (Chen, Jaenicke & Volpe, 2016, 881-888). By previous discussion, it can be observed that the age group and occupational segment of the consumers are primary target market for fast food chains.
As per the previous discussion, it can be concluded that fast food chains of America is growing high day by day due to its social and economic structure, as it has increased the tendency of fast food consumption among the working youth and students of the society.