Vietnam Market Column

Column by Q&Me researchers about Vietnam trend and insight.


Is foreign fast food chains really underwhelming in Vietnam?

It has been already 3 years since McDonald opened its first store. In HCM only, we have over 200 fast food chain shops. The number is far smaller compared with Bangkok or Jakarta but we came to see foreign fast food chains everywhere in city. So how do they perform?


In our survey, which we conducted to the age group of 16-39 years old, 57% use the fast food chains once per month and more, and those who use them weekly are 1/3 of the respondents. Then frequency does not look that negative.

If you compare the big 4 chains of KFC, Lotteria, McDonald and Jollibee, KFC and Lotteria are recognized by almost all of them and nearly 80% use those chains. They are in Vietnam for a long time and Vietnamese are familiar with them very much. On the other hand, McDonald has lower recognition rate of 80% and those who eat there are no more than 1/3 of the respondent.

In order to see the popularity among four, we had asked two questions - “ What are the store you would go if the location were the same (store to choose)” and “ What are the stores that you dare to avoid (store to avoid)”? Here are the results.

KFC is chosen as the “store to visit”, followed by Lotteria. For the “store to avoid”, the vote for McDonald is the highest. What makes the difference?


KFC and Lotteria are chosen basically by “brand”. Now that it has been long in the market, Vietnamese feel comfortable with those names. McDonald is still new to the market, and the name is not as familiar with those other two in Vietnam yet. Also, the pricing seems to be one reason where McDonald could perform better. People has a strong impression that Mcdonald is costly.

The same kind of trend can be found our NPS (Net performance score) result. In this question as well, pricing is federated with higher score of “detractors” for McDonald.

It is true that Vietnamese are conservative about the new things and it takes more time than other countries for the new cultures to penetrate into the market. Also, the cost factor is still one of the biggest barrier in Vietnam. Students do with the monthly budget of 2M-3M VND monthly and the spending of 50,000-100,000 VND at fast food chain is still luxurious for them. It requires the patience and the continuous effort of the marketing to be in Vietnam market.

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