The original article is posted at QSR Magazine, where I write a monthly column.
The top 10 quick-service restaurant apps in the U.S. were downloaded 11 million times in May, 16 percent less than those the month prior. Year-over-year in the month of April, downloads of the top 36 quick-service restaurant apps are up 1.8 percent. A download represents a new user and the first conversion on the mobile app customer’s journey.
Subway gained four spots on the top chart, moving from #7 to #3. Subway dominates in terms of absolute numbers. In May, it pulled in more than double the number of downloads that Jersey Mike’s and Jimmy John’s received combined. After a two month hiatus, Burger King makes its way back onto the chart this month, surging up seven spots to #8.
Last month Dairy Queen did the unthinkable and scaled all the way up to #2 on the top chart, falling just shy of McDonald’s. This month, the soft serve franchise fell back down to #18. While Apptopia estimates the app’s daily active users are already down 56 percent off of their high from last month’s promotion, they are still 357 percent above the apps’ previous average.
Subway is responsible for May’s largest month-over-month increase of downloads, coming in at 59 percent. Apptopia did not identify any change in mobile advertising or paid store search changes that would have led to this increase. The increase happened in the beginning of the month, around the same time Subway announced a giveaway for nurses and teachers. Nurses and teachers had the opportunity to win a free Subway Series sandwich by requesting one through a dedicated website, not the mobile app.