QSRs Get The Memo: Technology Can Help Business Boom

Quick service restaurants, or QSRs, are relying more and more on technology. The reasons? It's simple. Technology can help with labor challenges, can enhance speed-of-service, and it can even offer enhanced safety as we still deal with Covid. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The economics of operating a QSR are as challenging as they've ever been. Not to mention the financial challenges that stem from some of the issues above, we're also in a world of short supplies and higher prices, which can cut the ever-small profit margins in foodservice even smaller. The good news is technology can help, and so can some of the solutions we've developed here at Randal.

Dealing With Current Economics

Staying on top of trends is key for QSR owners, and one example is Taco Bell. With a new restaurant model in the works that utilize a "bell–evator," the drive-thru is actually located underneath the kitchen. To-go customers will actually receive their orders through this automated contraption that still allows for two-way audio and video communication with staff inside the restaurant. A model store scheduled to open this summer will have four drive-thrus, two for mobile app pick-ups and the other two for onsite ordering. 

As their name implies,  quick service restaurants are predicated on earnings that are largely driven by the speed of service. Since speeding up service is critical to the economics of the operation, operators should consider a wide range of technologically-driven solutions, from better training staff on POS solutions to streamlining payment.

Evolving With The Times

According to a recent Bluedot survey, 58% of those surveyed decided that "mobile app ordering" was the most improved aspect of their fast food experience since the onset of Covid, and many restaurant designers are helping QSRs continue these evolutions by designing facilities that are tailored for ease and speed, the two hallmarks of a great QSR.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, estimates show that nearly 90,000 restaurants have closed, turning the 2020s into one of the most challenging and transformative decades in restaurant history. It's also an opportunity for the resilient QSR marketplace to evolve with the growing trend of off-premise dining.

QSR magazine reports that one particular brand, CKE Restaurants, has decided to evolve with the times by cutting back on the square footage of its restaurants. The parent company of the popular Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants has shrunk the traditional footprint by more than 25 percent. This will likely be a trend across the board.

Combating Labor Issues

We're living in the age of the Great Resignation. That's the bad news. It's harder to find staff. The good news is we have technological advancements that can help offset these challenges. Because order kiosks and online apps have helped replace the loss of workers, it's a great opportunity to improve the design of QSRs with new technologies in mind.

Quick Service Restaurants will likely operate across a different range of dining channels. This means dine-in options might remain the same, but with a smaller staff who can actually rely on technology and achieve the same level of sales, if not more. One example is the future of Steak and Shake, where ordering kiosks, and not waitresses taking orders, are becoming the norm.

For over 40 years, Randal Retail Group has helped restaurants find solutions to help increase profits. Click below to request our latest restaurant whitepaper to see how the magic happens.

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