In order to learn more about what its customers desire for lunch, Quiznos recently completed a Lunch Report that surveyed consumer opinion on a variety of trends and issues.

Some of the results, says Quiznos chief communications officer Ellen Kramer, took the brand by surprise.

“It was amazing to me to find out that 54 percent of people eat [lunch] in 20 minutes or less,” Kramer says. “Quiznos believes that people look forward to lunch, and we wanted to make sure that we give them something to look forward to, even though it’s only going to take 20 minutes to do that.”

The Lunch Report, conducted by third-party market research firm Harris Interactive, surveyed consumers on lunch issues such as variety, speed, healthiness, and cost.

According to the report, 75 percent of consumers are more satisfied when offered a variety of menu options to choose from; 60 percent of consumers say price is important when choosing between lunch options; 47 percent of consumers choose restaurants that are “earth-conscious”; and 76 percent of consumers take calories and nutrition into account when deciding on lunch.

Kramer says it wasn’t just the report’s finding on the speed of eating lunch that surprised Quiznos.

“People have been interested in calories and nutrition for quite some time, but I think it was really surprising the percentage of people who consider calories and nutrition when making their lunch decision,” she says.

The report was brainstormed about a year ago, Kramer says, because Quiznos “wanted to see if there were any opportunities … to better meet the consumer needs.”

But the application of the report’s findings, she says, shouldn’t be limited just to Quiznos.

“I think that the whole industry is going to have to adjust to the need for variety for sure,” Kramer says.

“Where consumers are being exposed to new flavors and even international flavors, that’s where some of the variety is going to have to come in. Whether it’s a burger joint or a place like Quiznos, we’re going to have to stay ahead of the food trends and create the variety and quality that people are getting just by being exposed to a lot more variety in their outside life.”

Indeed, variety is the element where Kramer says Quiznos plans to make the most change, with a continued emphasis on expanding the menu.

But while additions to the menu and other changes stemming from the Lunch Report are more long-term goals, Kramer says, there are some things Quiznos plans to make a move on more in the short term.

“I would expect that you’ll start seeing some immediate changes in terms of what we decide is more important to talk about in our marketing efforts,” she says.

“We surprisingly meet a lot of these needs already, but maybe don’t put some the emphasis in our marketing on some of the value that we offer.”

By Sam Oches

Menu Innovations, News, Sandwiches, Quiznos