A customer's overall experience at a quick-service restaurant (QSR) is the culmination of all their contacts with the establishment. These days, many fast-casual restaurants are available, so creating a great QSR experience is more crucial than ever. By giving your patrons a wonderful eating experience, you may increase the likelihood that they will return and grow your clientele.
Discover the best QSR experience enhancements, including QSR business tactics, to help you expand your company while enhancing your QSR experience. Find out how to keep people returning to your QSR and grow your client base.
1. Digital Menus
The restaurant sector continually evolves to meet consumers' demands and expectations. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have recognized the value of digital menus in creating unique and engaging culinary experiences for customers.
Crafting Engaging Digital Menus
Crafting your digital menu boards requires careful preparation, so don't just dive right in. Ensure your digital menu boards are appealing and efficient. The nicest thing about digital menus is how little setup is necessary. For instance, with content scheduling, you can stay on top of what you show on your displays. The software you use will make managing your displays and creating engaging content easier.
For engaging digital menus, avoid cluttering the menu designs and layout. Focus on including captivating images and animations to interest your customers in your offerings. Likewise, use engaging templates for your menu. You can utilize digital signage software to get different display template options.
Digital signage has become part of several McDonald's restaurants, making it one of the biggest fast-food businesses globally. The business shows ads and promotions on digital screens and uses digital menu boards to showcase menu items and prices. According to a case study published by the Digital Signage Federation, McDonald's reported a 3.5% rise in sales after installing digital displays in its restaurants.
2. Interactive Self-Ordering Kiosks
Self-service kiosks give clients the increased control they desire over their shopping experience. Clients can quickly and conveniently place orders and pick up their meals via the kiosk rather than wait in a queue.
Self-ordering kiosks simplify ordering, lowering the time consumers spend waiting in lines. Effective queue management is critical during peak hours since it improves customer experience and reduces walkaways. These kiosks also allow consumers to customize their purchases quickly by selecting products, quantities, and dietary restrictions. This level of personalization increases consumer pleasure and loyalty.
Domino's has added digital ordering kiosks to certain shops, supplementing its sophisticated online ordering system. These kiosks have simplified the ordering process and added another convenient alternative for consumers who want to purchase in-store, cementing Domino's position as a pioneer in technology-driven catering.
Wendy's, another big fast-food chain, is also using self-ordering kiosks. Their kiosks give a more personalized ordering experience while lowering labor expenses.
3. Drive-Thru Innovations
Drive-thrus are an important and increasing part of the QSR business, and technology is improving them further to ensure the efficiency, speed, and customization that today's drive-thru consumers expect.
Next-Gen Drive-Thru Experiences
Today's drive-thrus are unlike decades before; fast-food consumers have higher expectations than ever and seek ultra-convenience, lightning-fast service, individualized attention, and an excellent overall experience. Likewise, competition is fierce due to the rise of drive-thrus, and if your QSR doesn't measure up, you can be sure another one is waiting to serve your disgruntled patrons just down the street. Most next-gen drive-thru experiences now use innovative technologies such as live sales direct to the kitchen, number plate recognition, digital menu boards, automated voice ordering, and facial recognition payments.
McDonald's is still making global investments in and introducing cutting-edge technologies. The worldwide QSR is rolling out the machine learning system from Dynamic Yield, which provides recommendations depending on the time of day, the weather, and popular menu items. By year's end, it will have been fully implemented on all outdoor digital menu displays in the United States and Australia and the 9,500+ drive-thrus in the country.
4. AI Integration for Enhanced Customer Interactions
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming QSRs' consumer interactions. Anticipate the application of AI to produce highly customized eating experiences by 2024. AI is making it possible for QSRs to better cater to the unique interests of their customers than ever before, from personalized marketing messaging to AI-driven suggestions based on previous orders.
For instance, many QSR establishments are exploring and deploying AI and geofencing for added convenience. In its recent collaboration with Google Cloud, Wendy's is testing massive language models and generative AI at its Columbus, Ohio, restaurant locations. To enhance the drive-through experience, Wendy's FreshAi will converse with customers, comprehend customization requests, and answer often-asked inquiries.
5. Mobile Ordering
Contactless payments and smartphone ordering are becoming more and more popular. Mobile applications are growing more complex, with capabilities such as order tracking, customized menus, and seamless payment options, which improve the whole consumer experience.
Leading QSR chains are seeing significant growth in their mobile ordering operations and have already made several enhancements to this channel. In its biggest six markets, McDonald's recorded $7 billion in worldwide digital sales in 2022, while Chipotle recorded over $3 billion in digital sales. In 2022, Yum's digital sales worldwide exceeded $24 billion. All three QSRs strive to improve their online experiences as McDonald's starts to include geofencing into its mobile app.
6. Sustainability Initiatives
Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability, and quick-service restaurants are reacting with green technological solutions. Use more environmentally friendly packaging, energy-efficient cooking equipment, and technology-based initiatives to decrease food waste.
For example, you may concentrate on ingredients sourced locally. Purchasing locally grown produce helps local companies thrive, ensures fresh ingredients, and lessens the carbon footprint of shipping food across long distances. Using locally acquired goods can help draw customers who appreciate eateries that follow sustainable standards. There is a sizable target market there since 62% of patrons choose restaurants that use foods obtained locally.
7. QR Codes within QSRs
In 2024, contactless payment methods like mobile wallets and QR codes are necessary to satisfy customers' growing demands for speed and convenience at quick-service restaurants. Include contactless menu experiences, simple payment options, and focused marketing possibilities using QR codes in your restaurant's ordering process to increase patron happiness and loyalty.
Restaurants use QR codes to achieve digital purposes in their physical locations, such as order pickup, loyalty reward redemption, and smartphone downloads. For example, the fast-casual restaurant Sweetgreen started using technology to extend its loyalty program to in-store transactions. The codes link customers' rewards program accounts.
8. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Over the coming years, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will grow beyond their conventional uses in gaming to become useful tools for quick-service restaurants. VR's use in immersive employee training and AR's promise to improve interactive menus are just getting started. With these technologies, fast service customer interactions and staff training will be completely changed, resulting in more efficient, fun, and engaging experiences.
In one of its latest ads, Burger King employed augmented reality in crowning itself as king. The fast food business employed augmented reality technology to persuade consumers to digitally burn competition adverts in the Burger King application as a substitute for a free whopper. This ad is effective since it keeps guests engaged with the company and delivers a unique, immersive experience that inspires loyalty.
Enhancing your QSR experience
In 2024, the secret to success in the restaurant sector will be to embrace changing client tastes and leverage data analytics. Each endeavor connecting with current eating trends, renewing your establishment's environment, or infusing your digital menu with creative flavors is vital to ensuring your restaurant's success in the coming year. Learn how Look Digital Signage products can improve your customers' QSR experience to give you the competitive edge you need.