A common question among those seeking a meal to solve their late-night hunger is: Taco Bell or KFC?  We thought it would be interesting to take a look at each KFC and Taco Bell’s Foursquare check-in traffic.


Both Taco Bell and KFC are owned by Yum! Brands. Taco bell has approximately 5,800 locations in the United States, while KFC (formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken) operates 5,200 locations in 109 countries.  As we’ll see shortly, KFC is certainly the more global brand.

Let’s compare each brand’s statistics from Foursquare to determine how well they are doing in terms of generating check-ins. 

Total Check-Ins: The number of check-ins that each brand has received across all its venues.

KFC: 179,636

Taco Bell: 192,097

Taco Bell has just slightly more total check-ins than KFC, while KFC has a higher per-store check-in average.

Total People: The total number of people that have checked-in. Unique people will be fewer than total check-ins, as people may check-in more than once at a location.

KFC: 117,131

Taco Bell: 100,778

This is where it gets interesting.  Despite having fewer total check-ins, KFC has actually had more people check-in than Taco Bell.

By dividing Total Check-ins by Total People, we can learn about each brand’s customer loyalty.  (Higher is better.)

KFC= 1.53

Taco Bell = 1.91

Taco Bell’s customers are distinctly more loyal than KFC, as Taco Bell’s customers are much more likely to visit again. Oddly, these loyalty scores are lower than for our previous brands, Home Depot and Lowe’s.  One would think that a customer would be much more likely to buy another meal than visit Home Depot to purchase another high-dollar item.  This is one area where both KFC and Taco Bell could easily improve.

Customer Overlap

Using detailed check-in analysis, we can also compare each brand’s customer and determine the overlap in their customer bases.

KFC: 4.3%

Taco Bell: 9.4%

Obviously, both brands serve the same customer-bases, making it likely that each brand’s customers would visit the others.

Based on our analysis, 4.3% of people that check-in at KFC have also checked-in at Taco Bell, while 9.4% of Taco Bell customers have checked in at a KFC.

Finally, let’s take a look at average Social Influence, which is an indicator of how influential a brand’s customers are in the social web.  (Max score is 10.)

KFC: 1.3 / 10

Taco Bell: 1.8 / 10

Taco Bell has significantly more influential customers than KFC.  In fact, KFC’s influence scores are some of the lowest we’ve seen. 

Check-Ins by Day & Hour

PlacePunch also analyzes check-in traffic, enabling brands to understand when customers check-in.

As we analyze day/time check-in stats for each brand, we see that check-in traffic by day is consistent throughout the week, with each brand receiving a slight uptick in check-ins on Friday and Saturday.

It is interesting to note that KFC receives check-ins every hour of the day.  This is probably a function of KFC operating stores around the world, while Taco Bell, which operates mostly in the United States, receives more typical check-in traffic for restaurants.

Most Popular Venues
Finally, it’s interesting to see the most popular venues for each brand, particularly, KFC, whose most popular stores for check-ins are outside of the United States. 

Closing Thoughts
Looking at these check-in statistics, Taco Bell has a clear advantage in check-in traffic and guest loyalty to KFC.  However, KFC faces a unique opportunity to expand beyond the United States.  It would be wise for Taco Bell to continue to strengthen its hold on the late-night fast food market here in the United States, and for KFC to continue to grow its global presence.

Want to learn about your business’s check-ins? Contact us to request a free check-in report for your brand.