The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the 5th largest media market in the United States with over 7 million people. It is also growing very fast and accounts for just under 4% of the total QSR market. So what better way to spend a Tuesday morning than using our data to explore the dynamics of the quick service restaurant (QSR) market there.

Food Category Preferences

One of the most glaring characteristics of the Dallas-Fort Worth area is its love of Burgers. Visits to Burger QSRs (think McDonald’s, Burger King, and Whataburger) represent over 40% of the total QSR market in Dallas compared to 37% nationally. Sandwiches came in second at right under 15%, followed by Chicken at 14%. Interestingly Coffee underperforms in Dallas where it only accounts for 10% of the QSR market compared to 15% nationally.

Most Popular Times

As is the case nationally, residents of Dallas love to grab their lunch at QSRs. 12% of all QSR visits happen between noon and 1pm. This is almost double the size of the next highest frequency hour (6-7pm) which only sees 7.6% of all visits.

This chart plots all QSR visits in Dallas over on a 24 hour scale.

QSR Visits By Hour in the Dallas-Fort Worth region

Most Popular Days

The most popular days for eating at QSRs in the Dallas area are Friday, followed by Saturday. Friday alone accounts for 17% of all visits. Sunday is the laggard accounting for only 12%.

See the chart below which shows QSR visits in the Dallas area plotted by day of week.

QSR Visits By Day In The Dallas-Fort Worth Area

Top QSRs in Dallas

The top 5 QSRs in the Dallas area are McDonald’s (12.9% of market), Starbucks (8.8%), Sonic Drive-In (7.86%), Whataburger (7.41%), and Chick-Fil-A (6.88%). Notice that 3 of the top 5 QSRs are Burger restaurants.

Here is a full list of the top 20 QSRs in the Dallas area.

Rank Brand Share Of Visits
1 McDonald’s 12.9%
2 Starbucks Coffee 8.9%
3 Sonic Drive-In 7.9%
4 Whataburger 7.4%
5 Chick-fil-A 6.9%
6 Subway 5.3%
7 Jack in the Box 5.1%
8 Wendy’s 3.9%
9 Taco Bell 3.7%
10 Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy 2.2%
11 Taco Cabana 2.0%
12 Chicken Express 2.0%
13 KFC 1.9%
14 Burger King 1.8%
15 Taco Bueno 1.6%
16 Arby’s 1.4%
17 Chipotle Mexican Grill 1.4%
18 Schlotzsky’s 1.4%
19 Dairy Queen 1.4%
20 Panda Express 1.4%

QSRs With Highest Loyalty Rate

Another metric we like to look at is how loyal customers are to specific QSRs. We created a loyalty metric that tracks a brand’s customers to see what percentage of their total QSR visits are to that brand versus the rest of the market. In other words, if McDonald’s had 100 customers who in total went to QSRs 500 times a month, how many of those 500 visits where to McDonald’s versus everyone else in the industry.

The top QSR by loyalty rate in Dallas was Starbucks, which secured 43.2% of it’s customers total QSR visits. This was followed by McDonald’s (43.1%), Subway (40.9%), and Sonic Drive-In (40.8%).

Here is the rest of the top 20 list.

Rank Brand Share Of Visits
1 Starbucks Coffee 43%
2 McDonald’s 43%
3 Subway 41%
4 Sonic Drive-In 41%
5 Pizza Hut / WingStreet 41%
6 Krispy Kreme 39%
7 Whataburger 39%
8 Which Wich 39%
9 Chick-fil-A 39%
10 Jamba Juice 39%
11 Potbelly Sandwich Shop 38%
12 Jersey Mike’s Subs 38%
13 Zoe’s Kitchen 38%
14 Jack in the Box 38%
15 Wingstop 38%
16 Jimmy John’s 37%
17 Einstein Bros Bagels 37%
18 Pei Wei Asian Diner 37%
19 Quiznos 37%
20 Corner Bakery Cafe 37%

QSRs With Highest Brand Draw

Another exciting metric we look at is Brand Draw, which essentially looks at market share within 0.5 miles of every location a brand has. This metric is very telling of how often someone within striking distance of a restaurant is choosing a specific brand versus another.

In Dallas, the restaurant with the highest Brand Draw is Chick-Fil-A with a whopping 30.6% Brand Draw, followed by McDonald’s at 29.5%, and In-N-Out with 27.9%.

Here is the list of the top 20 QSRs in Dallas by Brand Draw.

Rank Brand Share Of Visits
1 Chick-fil-A 30.6%
2 McDonald’s 29.6%
3 In-N-Out Burger 27.9%
4 Sonic Drive-In 26.5%
5 Whataburger 26.4%
6 Starbucks Coffee 25.3%
7 Captain D’s Seafood Restaurants 25.0%
8 Freebirds 19.9%
9 Jack in the Box 19.8%
10 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers 19.2%
11 Firehouse Subs 18.6%
12 Steak ‘n Shake 17.7%
13 Pei Wei Asian Diner 17.4%
14 Chicken Express 17.1%
15 Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy 17.0%
16 Einstein Bros Bagels 16.7%
17 Jersey Mike’s Subs 16.6%
18 Dairy Queen 16.2%
19 Golden Chick 15.6%
20 Wendy’s 15.2%


The Dallas-Fort Worth area is large, growing fast, and accounts for almost 4% of the total QSR market. In other words, it’s a very important market. It also loves its burgers and is dominated by a mix of national players like McDonald’s and Starbucks, but also has a strong presence of more regional players like Whataburger.  The most popular time of day is lunch-time, and the most popular day is Friday.

Sense360 is an insights firm with a panel of over 2 million anonymous consumers and data on more than 150 million consumer trips a month. By understanding the visits and journeys of millions of people in the real-world, we are able to provide restaurants and retailers with detailed competitive and consumer insights.