Quick-service restaurants make up at least 20% of franchises in the United States today, according to Franchise Direct. What’s more, the fast food industry as a whole generates more than $550 billion annually around the world and nearly a quarter-trillion in the United States alone every year according to Franchise Help.
When you consider that total revenues for fast food businesses nationwide weren’t even topping $10 billion nationwide two generations ago, you really have to wonder what’s driving this huge upsurge in popularity.
Fast food restaurants are anticipated to expand by more than 2% annually over the next couple of years, so what’s going on here?
Stopping at a fast food restaurant has definitely become more convenient as people prioritize taste and affordable prices, but what’s really driving the swelling popularity in the quick-service restaurant sector?
How Technology Is Driving QSR Industry Growth
Fast food along with casual dining comprise what’s known as the quick-service restaurant sector in America. These types of restaurants actually make up half of all restaurants in this country.
Customers know what they’re getting when they sit down and enjoy a meal or opt for a takeout: convenience, great tasting food, an affordable meal, and a simple menu that they can quickly choose items off of.
The sheer ubiquity of a lot of these quick-service restaurant franchises also makes it more likely that one-time customers will become repeat customers since the dining experience has become so streamlined and the presence of another nearby location ensures repeat service.
Point of Sale Systems And Tech Improvements
On the convenience point, you’re definitely talking about a two-way street. Customers find eating out at fast food and casual dining restaurants convenient partly because of streamlined, quicker service.
And a lot of that streamlined, fast service has to do with more quick-service restaurants embracing point of sale systems and more recent tech advances like local SEO, mobile app ordering, email marketing campaigns, and customer relationship management (CRM) software that can better handle and process customer data.
Point of Sale Systems
All of these things taken together are driving the QSR industry growth that you’re seeing out there.
To start from the beginning, point of sale systems allow you to computerize many different processes in your restaurant’s day-to-day operations and bookkeeping.
Point of sale systems let cashiers see and process the customer’s order on a convenient layout and allow managers to track a number of vital processes.
For instance, point of sale systems dramatically improve bookkeeping by ensuring a more accurate accounting when it comes to labor, sales, and payroll processes. For a franchise QSR location, a point of sale system makes even more sense since it facilitates corporate management and oversight.
Mobile App Ordering
There are a lot of different mobile app ordering tools that franchises can take on in order to improve the customer experience.
The beautiful thing about mobile app ordering is that it’s being demanded by your customers at the same time that it promises to improve the efficiency by which customers place orders, which saves you additional time and money.
Combining online ordering with your current marketing initiatives can save you double. You might want to consider incorporating mobile app ordering into your website, social media page, or email marketing link.
Once downloaded from the app store, placing a mobile app ordering option right where your followers can see it and immediately place an order obviously makes sense. Even allowing for pre-orders can save your QSR franchise location time and allow you to service more customers in a single day.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are a great thing to annex into your franchise for two reasons—email marketing campaigns are automated and they’re responsive.
The latter point means that different people who sign up for your email marketing campaign’s messages will get different kinds of content in their created outlook email inbox.
Someone ready to pull the trigger and head down to your restaurant will get a message with a more forceful call to action while another person who’s just found out about your restaurant (or is on the fence about it) will get a more general overview of the kinds of food items you carry.
Local search engine optimization might just be the secret sauce that ties everything together since local SEO uses GPS tracking to make your restaurant more findable for out-and-about customers.
Customers may have already found out about you through social media or an email marketing campaign message, and local SEO can seal the deal!
Image from http://isg-technology.com/commercial-solutions/quick-service-restaurant/