While the future of happy hours and table service remains uncertain, there is opportunity for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) to reimagine the customer experience while discovering value in new products and services, using data and rethinking business models. Having a service-based organization that brings agility, efficiencies and strong partnerships through digitally led solutions are a critical set of ingredients for the menu. Digital and technology allows restaurants to meet diners where they are.
Since the pandemic began, both QSRs and fine dining have pivoted toward pickup, while strengthening delivery directly or through third parties. Digitally transformed brands such as Panera, Chipotle, Domino’s and McDonald’s are reaping the benefits of digital, a key enabler in weathering the storm. Domino’s, for example, uses a delivery and takeout only model by promoting online ordering via its app and using the chain’s in-house technology such as GPS-tracked orders. Domino’s revenue is up 160 percent over the past five years due in large part to this digital focus.
Restaurant customers were also demanding more off-premise offerings and the pandemic has only accelerated this need. Restaurants must continue to focus on evolving their off-premise capabilities to quickly respond to customers’ concerns, incorporating emerging experiences such as voice, chat bots and in-car experiences to maximize efficiency.