Burger King recently announced the release of a new menu item, but it’s not for people to eat. It’s for their dogs: a Whopper-flavored biscuit bone.
This news got our wheels spinning—is eating with your dog a new dining occasion white space for fast food and fast casual restaurants? And if so, when and where would this new occasion occur?
We asked 500 dog owners:
If dog-friendly treats were sold at your favorite fast food restaurants, how likely would you be to pick one up for your dog when getting food for yourself?
With so many respondents who answered positively, we retargeted 200 respondents who answered Very Likely or Somewhat Likely to learn more specifically when they’d buy doggie fast food items.
More than half of those surveyed would be most likely to buy “fast dog food” at the restaurant itself and either bring it home or treat their pup outside on a warm day.
We found that, in the same group, 88% would be more inclined to eat at a pet-friendly restaurant with outdoor seating over a restaurant that doesn’t cater to pets.
These findings indicate a widespread desire amongst pet owners to “co-dine” with their animal companions, which makes the occasion quite distinct from buying pet food at one store and human food elsewhere. It also presents a huge opportunity for fast food and fast casual restaurants to potentially attract new customers to the franchise.
Kids’ meals and playgrounds have long been a staple of the fast food world, driving new customers into the restaurants. Suzy has identified a potential new white-space dining occasion geared toward a different kind of parent: a pet parent who wants to go out to eat with the whole family, including the furry family members.
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