Restaurant Focus Group Case Study | Recruiting Customers for Qualitative Research

When partnering with a restaurant market research company, restaurants discover insight directly from the mouths they are feeding (literally and figuratively). With qualitative recruitment, restaurants can choose to target current, new, or prospective customers to join a focus group discussion.

Specifically, focus groups allow restaurant stakeholders to participate in live observation determining industry trends, product likes/dislikes, insight to competitors, and so on.

In this case study, we provide an overview of a recent restaurant market research project completed for a national chain eatery at our focus group facility in Syracuse. Learn more about the project overview, our qualitative recruitment process, the two focus groups, and the deliverables.

Partner with a restaurant market research company to understand industry trends, product likes/dislikes, and more from the mouths you are feeding (literally and figuratively).


Restaurant focus groups overview

A national restaurant chain with several restaurants in the Syracuse-area was interested in hiring a restaurant market research company to host two focus groups in Syracuse. The objective of the restaurant market research was centered around consumers who ate at a fast-casual restaurant at least twice in the past 3 months.

Each focus group was also divided between heavy users and light or non-users:

  • Heavy users: Visited the fast-casual restaurant 4+ times in the past year.
  • Light or non-users: Visited the fast-casual restaurant less than 2 times in the past year.

Both focus groups were held at our brand new focus group facility in NY. Our centrally located focus group facility is equipped with a viewing room, perfect for the restaurant owners and team members to watch and listen as the focus groups were being moderated.

Learn more about renting our focus group facility for your next qualitative market research project.

Qualitative recruiting approach

To address these objectives, Drive Research recruited a total of 5 participants per focus group to seat at least 4. Both focus groups were held on a Wednesday evening in April.
The two focus groups each lasted 90 minutes.

As a thank you for their feedback and time, all focus group participants received $75 processed by Drive Research.

The screening criteria for the qualitative recruit included:

• Must be 25 to 34 years old
• Must be at least a high school graduate
• Must have visited fast casual restaurants at least twice in the past 3 months
• Must have some level of awareness of the restaurant

Qualitative recruiting process

The process to recruit participants for the local restaurant transpired over two stages. First, Drive Research constructed targeted email lists of panel participants living in Syracuse. Second, our restaurant market research company created and ran paid randomized social media ads through Facebook and Instagram.

Both email and social promotion encouraged the target audience to take an online survey created by Drive Research in order to pre-screen prospective focus group participants. Those who qualified then received an additional re-screening to call for Drive Research to ask additional questions, verifying their online survey answers.

If selected, the focus group recruits received a confirmation email asking them to reply back “yes” if wanting to participate in the restaurant market research. Drive Research then called participants a day or two before the focus group, as well as a final reminder text the day of the sessions.

Interested in participating in future research opportunities like this one? Learn more about becoming a member of our Drive Research panel.

Restaurant focus groups

On a Wednesday evening, the first focus group began at 5:30 p.m. with the second focus group to follow at 7:30 p.m.

As a restaurant market research company, Drive Research recommends holding two separate groups to answer similar questions. Hosting a second focus group will act as a gut check to verify the data and findings discovered from the first group.

Drive Research invited stakeholders from the local restaurant and the advertising agency assisting with the branding to our focus group facility in Syracuse. Here clients were able to sit in our 14’ by 14’ viewing room to watch and listen as the focus groups are taking place.

Upon leaving, the client also received a USB flash drive holding all audio and video files from the focus group sessions for further analysis and reporting.

For those unable to attend either session, stakeholders could still have an inside look into the qualitative research as the focus groups were streamed live off-site in HD. The video stream also includes chat functionality to make the experience immersive and engaging.

Contact our Restaurant Market Research Company

Drive Research is restaurant market research company who manages both recruiting and hosts focus group at its focus group facility in Syracuse, NY.

Are you interested in either qualitative recruiting or focus groups? Contact us.

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Text us at 315-303-2040

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