Market Research Options for Restaurants | 10 Methodologies for the Dining Industry

Whether your restaurant is well-established on merely a concept, market research can be extremely beneficial to its success. 

Drive Research, a full-service market research firm, has worked with restaurants across the country from fast-food to fine dining. Our restaurant market research company has found there is always room for new insights, increased customer satisfaction, and a competitive edge. 

Market Research Options for Restaurants


Concept Testing

Opening a new restaurant is a huge investment. That’s why before deciding to open one, it’s important to determine its feasibility

Concept testing for a new restaurant allows you to determine the essential factors that ultimately set your new business up for success. 

Market research can help you determine branding, understand who your target market is and how to market to them, establish price points, or create a menu. 

Here are some effective ways to understand the feasibility of a new restaurant: 

Online surveys

Our national market research firm commonly uses social media to conduct online surveys for restaurant concept testing. With strategic targeting, we can speak directly to any target audience to collect valuable feedback. 

Intercept surveys

Is there quite a bit of foot traffic near your proposed site? If so, an intercept survey might be an effective way to collect feedback from your target audience. This method can also be combined with online surveys to maximize your reach. 

Competitive assessment:

Does the market need a new restaurant? How are your competitors performing? Are there any gaps in the market?

These questions can be answered through a competitive assessment, helping to set your new restaurant up for success from the very start. This secondary research method can be easily combined with other primary methods such as an online or phone survey

Focus groups

Whether it’s testing a new concept, deciding on menu items, or deciding on branding, a focus group is an extremely effective way to speak directly to your target market. A restaurant focus group collects a variety of different opinions of many different perspectives, all at once.

Learn about a restaurant market research project hosted at our focus group facility.


Customer Satisfaction 

Conducting customer experience (CX) market research lets your restaurant know what it’s doing well and identifies any needed areas of improvement. Customer satisfaction surveys are useful tools restaurants can use to measure how they’re doing. 

Here are some effective ways to understand customer satisfaction: 

E-mail survey

Ask those who have provided their email addresses, perhaps through a loyalty program, to take a short survey after each visit. 

Point of purchase survey

After customers pay for their bills using a kiosk, prompt them to take a short survey. This method is effective because the customer experience is still brand new. If they specifically had a positive or negative experience, they’re most likely to remember important details.  

Receipt survey

Offer customers the opportunity to share feedback by including a code and survey link on the receipt. Often, customers will be rewarded with a coupon for their next visit.

If a customer offers positive feedback or identifies themself as a promoter in a survey, you can always ask them to leave a Google review or a testimonial for marketing purposes. 


Competitive Advantage 

Maybe it’s a sudden lull on Wednesday nights or the Friday night crowd isn’t saying as late as they used to. 

How does your restaurant stack up compared to the competitor down the road? Market research can help your business stay in the know about what your competitors are doing. 

Here are some effective ways to stay competitive in the dining industry recommended by our restaurant marketing research company: 

Mystery shopping

Mystery shopping for your restaurant essential to understanding what the dining industry is like in your market area. Subscribe to competitor newsletters, eat at their restaurants, analyze their menus and pricing, and keep track of their promotions. 

Track industry trends

Not only should you be keeping tabs on the competitor next door, but you should also be monitoring industry trends to bring new ideas to your market. 

Social listening

As a business, it’s essential to monitor relevant social media and the news. Follow competitors, read reviews, monitor relevant hashtags, and uncover opportunities to engage with potential customers.


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national restaurant market research company. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study to provide the insights your restaurant needs to succeed. 

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Market Research Analysis