5 Emerging Quick Service Restaurant Trends

Written by  on 24 July 2015

Consumer preferences are constantly evolving, and it can be difficult for restaurants to keep up with customers’ ever-changing demands. With competition high, you’ll want to keep these quick service restaurant trends in mind so you don’t get lost in the mix:

Untraditional ordering

Speed is always a primary concern for quick service restaurants. Slow-moving lines can drag sales to an all-time low. Now, line busting is moving the ordering process completely out of the four walls of the restaurant. Innovators of quick service restaurant trends are taking advantage of online ordering to make lines a thing of the past. Pizza chains like Papa John’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut are reporting that a significant portion of their sales are coming through the digital marketplace.

Fast casual restaurants are also jumping on the bandwagon. Panera Bread has piloted rapid pickup, where customers order and pay online and pick up in store—never waiting in line. They also offer delivery options and an innovative “order from my table” feature, where customers can order from their mobile devices right at the table, and servers will bring it right to them.

Mobile POS

The point of sale isn’t likely to move completely out of store, but it is becoming more mobile. Many restaurants are finding the benefits of line busting and tableside ordering that mobile POS can provide. This quick service restaurant trend is gaining traction because, during those busy times, the POS system can break away from the counter, letting you go mobile and work down the line. Restaurants are gaining efficiency and maximizing customer satisfaction.

Dynamic Pricing

Quick service restaurant trends are now beginning to focus on how to bring in profits during slower parts of the day. This can come in many different forms—from reducing prices during off hours to offering special meals or snacks that are only available at certain times. This more complicated pricing and menu model is facilitated by the increased use of digital menu boards. These boards allow restaurants to easily and quickly change prices or menu items based on different times of the day.

Healthy eating

Consumers are beginning to focus more on healthy options, which is why quick service restaurant trends are establishing more transparency in where their ingredients come from. With the rise of Panera Bread and Chipotle, it’s clear that consumers are beginning to value quality ingredients that are sourced from sustainable farms. Many are willing to pay a little more for meals that they believe are better for themselves and the world as a whole.

As part of this quick service restaurant trend, restaurants will need to consider the calorie count for their meals—especially because, by the end of 2015, restaurants will be required to display calorie counts on their menu boards.

Social media bragging rights

The flipside of the healthy eating quick service restaurant trend is the social media bragging rights trend. Millennials gravitate towards social experiences that can be shared through platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Quick service restaurants are capitalizing on this by creating wild and unusual menu items or challenges that encourage consumers to share on their social media sites. Limited time offers like Wendy’s nine patty cheeseburger spur a social media frenzy, which enables free social marketing.

New quick service restaurant trends are emerging constantly, but one thing is for sure—technology will have a major impact on how quick service restaurants operate. Mobile ordering, mobile POS, digital menu boards, and social media are transforming the QSR game. The transforming social conscious is also impacting the very foundation of restaurants—ingredients. The only question is what’s next.

Read 773 times Last modified on Friday, 24 July 2015 20:15

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