Getting on board to stay in the run, is the only choice the foodservice industry has to bring up a competitive edge. QSR is one of the fastest-growing industries across the globe and so is its customer base along with their expectations. What is it that makes your brand stand out from the crowd? Is it the service, quality, customer service, or all of these combined? May it be any of these factors, serving customers fast and friendly is the ultimate goal.
During these trying times, that the world is facing today, we see the food industry is at the center of it all. What has been your strategy to survive during this current wave of change? Drive-thru certainly seems to be what consumers are looking for right now. Not only does it serve their instinctive need for comfort food, but also comes with minimum contact. The Drive-thru option offered by the QSR industry would not only reassures guests about their safety but also keeps the business running at the same time.
Along with dine-in, the take-away, pull-up, drive-in and drive-thru have been in operation since the 1950s. Each of these QSR options has evolved with the demands of the consumer. As with most other functionalities of the restaurant operations, the drive-thru concept is in the process of a digital transformation. The current generation is tech-savvy, so the next generations of Drive-Thru customers are going to be digital experts, for whom the newest technology will be expected at every turn. The Workpulse suite of mobile applications is the most affordable way to introduce employees to the technology of today’s ever-changing QSR Industry.
So, to grow and be successful with next-generation guests; tech-integrated drive-thru and pick-up would prove to be the winning combination. What works today is Fast, Friendly, Hassle-Free pick-ups at the kiosks, and window, with good food value & quality. With the growing demand for off-premises kiosks, delivery, and even more new concepts booming, will the existing drive-thru system ever be the same?
Let’s check a few challenges, drive-thru could face in the QSR industry
- Investment in Mobile Technology
- Investment in Training
Drive-thru demands an infrastructure for easy entry and exit points with kiosks to deliver fast, fresh, food. This needs considerable investment at every outlet. The kiosks need to be connected to the kitchen to keep the flow of deliveries without interruption or long wait times. Kitchens will also need considerable investment and improvement for better preparation and to keep up with the increased volume at the kiosks.
Investment in mobile technology
Technology continues to improve, and the right software from Workpulse and can save time on repeated processes, compliance tracking, and operational efficiency. Technology and the automation process have revolutionized the labor force in every industry, food service is no different. While we might be a few years out from programming robots to scoop your ice cream, we can save a considerable amount of time and money implementing technology in guest ordering, order accuracy, and daily operations.
Amazing technologies such as AI are regularly being designed and tested all over the globe. Though they will need research, time, and investment to implement in the current QSR industry, we already have software and hardware available today that seem straight out of a science fiction movie.
Investment in training
Employers need to equip and educate staff to properly operate tools and technology. Also, employees skilled only in one area will not be of much help in the constantly evolving QSR industry. Workers need to be aware of how the QSR industry works without technology too. Those employees equipped with a variety of skills, combining some technical know-how and day to day workings of the QSR industry can help employers get the maximum output of these automated programs.
Role of technology in improving drive-thru in the QSR industry
Minimum-Contact, Time Saving, Convenience, and Good Value are the demands of today’s consumer. Technology can aid in achieving the above needs consistently and minimizing errors. So, the QSR industry is looking forward to leveraging technology to provide its guests with the best consumer experience. So, let’s take a peek at how technology can aid the QSR industry in its evolution and expansion.
Leading technologies AI, ML, and Automation are aiding the QSR industry especially in areas where there are repeated processes such as:
- Recipe preparation
- Taking Orders
- Accepting Cashless payments
- Automation of Menus
- Training Employees and monitoring growth
- Compliance data gathering and storing
- Limiting interaction with guests
Recipe and food preparation
The repeated processes while preparing amounts for the expected volume of a dish or recipe can be automated. This means the employees do not have to spend their effort and time doing emergency, last minute, or reactionary prep activities for common recipes or high-volume dishes. Automation at this point not only saves labor time but also increases efficiency and reduces waste by allowing the preparation of very accurate amounts based on the recipe history of certain items.
Taking orders online and accepting cashless payment
Taking customers pre-orders via apps on their smartphones is another repeated process that has become the standard among QSR concepts. This saves the que time to order and reduces the burden on front end personnel who must navigate the busiest parts of the day. The mobile orders completely erase the ordering & waiting time at the location, and also limits contact or human errors experienced during cash handling.
Cashless payment not only reduces the wait time, and interaction time, but also encourages the customers to make payment and schedule their pickup in advance. In-app ordering will include customer details and since the guest is writing their order in detail, it is much more likely to be mistake-free. This not only enhances the customer experience but also builds a loyal customer base.
Training Employees can be a time-consuming process wherein you need to make them aware of the brand standards, recipes, production, and regulations. As an owner or operator, you will also be likely to educate your employees on your company’s culture and beliefs and encourage them to emulate these best practices while on the clock. The use of Workpulse software can help to manage to streamline tedious tasks and train them to utilize the tools around them more efficiently.
Any technology training can be made interactive and enjoyable for the employees if gone about with the proper attitude. Allowing employees to continue learning as they grow with your organization and monitoring their progress will go a long way in reducing turnover.
Automated communication with managers and supervisors and teams
Any emergency updates regarding weather, location, or employee health issues, a topic considered critical news, can be easily communicated by automation.
It has been found in studies that mobile ordering and Drive-Thru/Grab and Go is preferred by today’s tech-savvy employees. Many chains report that their DT business accounted for as much as 70% of their business before the present health crisis.
Big names in the QSR industry are investing heavily in the drive-thru technologies to speed up the services and keep their loyal guests returning frequently. The intent is always to serve fast with good accuracy and value while creating what feels like a personalized experience. As per a study conducted by the National Restaurant Association, some QSR investing in their drive-thru are already predicting that Drive-Thru pickups are expected to more than double in the coming years.
To sum up our discussion, the current situation with COVID – 19 has led the restaurant operators to look for technology and tools that can help them operate a drive-thru that’s not just fast, but more efficient than ever, while still delivering great service too. Innovation throughout the years has shown that investing in the newest software and technology has proven beneficial for the restaurant industry.
The QSR industry alone has generated revenue of 273 billion US dollars in the year 2019. These are staggering revenues indicating the growing strength of the existing consumer market. With such a huge expanse of the foodservice market, embracing the right combined with proper training will continue to play a key role in an ever-growing QSR world.
Collaborate with Workpulse to help your restaurant business save time, and grow revenue with easy to use modern technology. The suite of mobile apps not only keeps you updated with real-time data at your fingertips but also helps you take immediate action when necessary. The enterprise-level analytics and data together will help you to cut costs and increase the profit of your business.
Find out how Workpulse can help you take your business to the next level. Call 1-856-282-6044