A fast food restaurant, also known as a quick service restaurant (QSR) within the industry, is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by its fast food cuisine and by minimal or no table service. Food served in quick service restaurants is typically offered from a limited menu, is sometimes cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, and is finished and packaged to order. It is usually available ready to take away, though seating is often provided. In selected cases, delivery may also be available.
Quick service restaurant outlets have become popular with consumers because, with economies of scale in purchasing and producing food, quick service restaurants can deliver food to consumers at a very low cost and, with consistent and wide-spread branding and standardization, they can provide confidence that a hungry person in a hurry or far from home will experience the service and quality they expect.
There are close to 50,000 quick service restaurants in the United State – and more than 500,000 across the world. Consumers between the ages of 6 -14 eat 157,000,000 fast food meals every month. That’s a lot of money and food meeting in service of satisfying consumers’ appetites!
Quick service restaurants are both cost-sensitive and highly-competitive while also continuing to evolve to keep pace with rapidly changing technologies and tastes. Three key technologies are leading the change:
U.S. merchants have now followed much of the rest of the world in switching from magnetic strip readers for credit transactions to new EMV-compliant devices. These “chip-and-pin” devices require customers to insert their credit card and in many cases type a four-digit PIN or provide a signature to approve transactions, something which can add 20–30 seconds per transaction.
To protect speed of service, as use of credit and debit cards have become more and more common for micro-payments, this is leading some quick service restaurants to adopt NFC (near field communications) technologies, if they haven’t already, and then aggressively promote their use. NFC payments with Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay and similar services are faster than mag-swipe transactions and often much faster than EMV.
Many mobile wallets and payment services are introducing loyalty features that reward customers with points, personalized deals, and other perks. Such perks and related promotions will be key to convincing regular customers that they should try out the new tech and will provide more insight than ever before into QSR customers and their spending habits and preferences.
Millennials and young consumers, in particular, are conditioned to expect immediate gratification—whether it be music, videos, physical goods, or services, all are immediately available with a tap. In keeping with this on-demand expectation, increasingly customers are rewarding QSRs who offer options such as electronic ordering and pickup or delivery of food and who manage service expectations through innovative approaches such as providing real-time information about waiting times in restaurants and/or drive-through lanes.
Each QSR organization must develop an effective social media strategy appropriate to them that can provide quantifiable results and evolve with rapidly changing trends. With the population of Facebook teens shrinking more than 25 percent between 2011 and 2014, according to iStrategyLabs, restaurants are under pressure to diversify their social media strategies since Facebook advertising strategies don’t necessarily work on Instagram, Snapchat, and other places where Millennials and younger consumers have fled to avoid their snooping parents.
Social media can make or break a QSR in terms of hipness and being age-relevant. And change can happen extremely quickly. It’s critical for QSR’s to integrate new technologies with proven enterprise data management to provide a robust picture of their businesses and how and where their customers are engaging with them.
The ADRM Quick Service Restaurant data model set provides a comprehensive set of data models from which to build a robust and flexible information foundation to address this unique environment. The Quick Service Restaurant data model set consists of Enterprise, Business Area and Data Warehouse logical data models developed for companies in the QSR business and which address business areas including:
|Customers||Human Resources & Payroll|
|Marketing & Advertising||Inventory|
|Financial Reporting||Property & Equipment|
|Training & Education|
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