Restaurant Research Solutions

MFour is the pioneer of restaurant research in the Smartphone Era.

Today’s consumers are more likely to have a phone in hand than a fork. People discover restaurants and food on their phones and increasingly order meals on their phones. It’s just common sense to track them and survey them on their phones, too.

You’ll observe and talk to the right people – a U.S. audience of 2.5 million first-party consumers, carefully profiled, validated and representative across geography and demographics. Locate them inside a restaurant or just as they exit and engage them at the Point-of-Emotion® for fast, accurate, deeply-felt opinions about menu items, dining room ambiance, waiters, drive-up and counter service efficiency – and any other aspect of their restaurant experiences.

Food Fight!

If you do market research for restaurant brands, you’re in one every day. You’re fighting to help your brand win the biggest attainable slice of a gigantic and rapidly growing pie that the National Restaurant Association estimated at $799 billion in 2017.

Luckily, the menu of tools for understanding the massive consumer public that visits U.S. restaurants is better than ever, thanks to advances in mobile research capabilities. Now you can track and observe mobile consumers to see exactly where they’ve been eating. Next, you’ll survey them during or just after a restaurant visit to understand the “whys” behind their buys and their satisfaction with every aspect of their restaurant experience. To see what in-app mobile research has to offer, read on.

Solutions for Restaurant Research

  • Get accurate feedback on pricing and menu items.
  • Measure effectiveness of special promotions and offers.
  • Audit service quality, cleanliness – any important consumer interface.
  • Track brand perceptions and brand health.
  • Gather competitive intelligence.
  • See how customers use and like your app.
  • Build custom panels.
  • Measure ad effectiveness.

Location Visit Tracking

Build Questions

  • Where do people eat and when?
  • Where did they have lunch last Tuesday?
  • Are you getting Millennials on holiday weekends?
  • Are you getting your share of families? Of consumers earning $75,000 and up?
  • How far are people willing to drive to your restaurants?

Get Answers

  • MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform tracks and archives location visits to the top 1,000 restaurant and retail chains by the largest group of first-party, validated consumers in the U.S. – updated daily.
  • You’ll visualize all that data in an instant.
  • This means you don’t even have to ask questions about “where,” “when” and “how often.” With Path-2-Purchase® you already know all that.
  • Your surveys now focus on the crucial “why” and “why not” data that will steer you toward fast, smart decision-making and greater market share.

Restaurant Research Options

In-Restaurant and After-Visit Research

Locate validated natural visitors at any of your restaurants nationwide. Survey them during a meal or just after they leave to capture feedback at the Point-of-Emotion®, when the taste is literally still in their mouths and the satisfaction or disappointment of their experience is still deeply felt and perfectly remembered. Ask them for smartphone photos and in-their-own-words “video selfies” so they can show exactly how they feel. Including video from passionate customers will make an impression at your presentations that will help you get your points across.

Photos also give you ironclad validation of items ordered, prices paid and any viewable aspect such as on-plate presentation, unclean silverware, smudged glasses or décor that caught their eye.

  • Why did they choose to eat here?
  • What did they order and why? Are your promotions working?
  • Is your new menu item a keeper? Should you roll it out nationwide?
  • Are your prices a good value? Or an impediment to purchases?
  • Service quality and ambiance: yes or no and how important are they?
  • Were they satisfied enough to recommend this place or menu item to a friend?
  • How do they rate your drive-throughs and food pick-up?

Ad-Effectiveness Measurement

Out-Of-Home (OOH)
What’s the ROI on your OOH? Stop guessing.

  • Who’s passing in view of your billboards and other signs? Observe and know.
  • Did they notice it? Ask and know.
  • Did they remember the brand and offer?
  • Do they intend to buy?
  • Did they convert? Track subsequent movements and know.


  • Target viewers just after the show, at the Point-of-Emotion®.
  • Fast turnarounds: 25% response rates within one hour after a show ends.
  • Did they actually visit your restaurant? Track location journeys to know.

Mobile Options

  • Are the right consumers receiving your mobile ads?
  • Are the ads driving them to your restaurants?

OOH Solutions

  • Match Ad IDs of phones that received ads to consumer panel members.
  • Survey them for key metrics on awareness, brand and product recall and intent to buy.
  • Observe location journeys of consumers who’ve received a restaurant ad. Did they actually visit?
  • Survey again. Did the ad help them decide?

Point-of-Emotion® MaxDiff Studies

  • Surveys On The Go® is the only mobile app that supports MaxDiff research.
  • What’s the range of opinion on a planned new product?
  • Survey your or your competitors’ validated customers when planning new products.
  • Test messaging images and texts.

Tracking Brand Health

  • Concerned about your research reach? Talk to the nation’s most representative 13- to 55-year-olds about your menus, offers and restaurant atmosphere.
  • What about “hard to reach” groups? Mobile access means you won’t have to miss out on vitally important Hispanics, African Americans, Millennials and Generation Z.
  • How are your restaurants trending and why? Monitor brand health with fast, easy tracking surveys.

Competitive Intelligence

Shouldn’t you understand your competitors’ customers as completely as you understand your own? For example:

  • See how often consumers who have your competitors’ apps are using them and survey them to understand what they like or dislike about the app.
  • Establish private communities of competitors’ validated customers (or your own) for regular feedback that reveals your competitive weaknesses and strengths.
  • Mystery shoppers: recruit mobile spies, send them to your competitors’ restaurants (or your own), then survey them for fast competitive data.

Custom Panel Building


  • Who’s going where? See visitation patterns by age, race, income and other key characteristics, across a first-party panel of 2.5 million validated and carefully profiled U.S. consumers.
  • Who should you track? Run your typing tool to identify consumer panel members who belong to the consumer segments you’re trying to understand.
  • Use Path-2-Purchase® Platform to track by day of week, time of day, duration of visit – across 12.5 million locations.
  • Check their visit histories prior to your current study and continue to observe their movements after you’ve surveyed them.


  • Why wait? Your custom panel is ready to share restaurant experiences at any time and place along the buying journey.
  • Study your own consumers, or focus on competitors’ customers.

Quick-Serve Restaurant meets Quick-Results Survey

We surveyed validated, first-party consumers we’d tracked at a QSR chain in 5 Texas cities.

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