Quick-service restaurants (QSR) have a tough job. You must provide great food in a comfortable and welcoming environment -- fast! It’s speed, convenience, and food quality that get customers to come through the door and then return again and again.
To offer that experience, you must continually work to keep up with trends that set the standard for this market. You must embrace new technology that gives customers what they want and need.
Here are a few quick-service restaurant technology trends that will help you keep up with the times and your competitors while building brand loyalty and providing customers with a warm, fun environment.
Digital Menu Screens
At this point in technology advancements, it’s essential for all quick-service restaurants to have digital menu signage. High-definition boards that present a list of menu items as well as specials, food combos, and new products are popping up in just about every QSR. You don’t want to get left behind or perceived as out-of-date by not jumping on this quick-service restaurant technology trend.
- Ditch dated menus. Replace static, above-the-counter menus with digital menu boards. Add content that includes your everyday items along with feature content that allows you to highlight new offers and products.
- Set up self-ordering kiosks. Touch-screen menus also offer customers what they want and need because it allows them to place their order faster. Keep the traditional customer ordering line, but add digital self-serve kiosks to give customers another option.
- Easily update offerings and specials. When you can change your menu with a few clicks, you get the power to control your offerings in real-time. You can add new trial items, remove poorly performing options, and even run flash sales and specials.
Wall-Mounted Digital Signage
Digital screens can do more than present menu items and accept orders. They are also great tools for entertaining and informing guests in a quick-service restaurant. Screens filled with engaging, fun, and useful content creates a warm mood and offers another way to connect with guests. Here are a few ways to embrace this quick-service restaurant technology trend.
- Promote in a fun way. Get customers to notice your promotions by featuring multimedia ads on digital signage. Use video and animation to draw extra attention to you specials, events, and campaigns.
- Highlight social media profiles. Bring your online presence into your store by featuring live streams of your social feeds. Draw attention to your profiles and encourage guests to follow you on their favorite social sites.
- Feature customer-generated content. Don’t just share your social posts. Also, curate customer posts that mention your brand or feature photos from your location and display them on in-store screens.
- Run contests. Offer chances for guests to win prizes by featuring customer contests on your screens. Contests are a great way to get customers engaged with your brand while building a valuable list of contacts and leads.
There’s another way to display digital screens to engage and entertain customers. Offer table-side touchscreens to improve the in-store experience of customers even more. Today’s customers like easy and constant access to content, media, and on-demand services. Provide that experience by placing interactive touchscreens at each of your tables.
- Enable tableside ordering. Prevent customers from needing to enter the ordering line. Setup tableside ordering that processes payment and sends the order directly to the kitchen.
- Offer fun and games. Make it fun for customers to enjoy their food in your quick-service restaurant by featuring games on your tableside digital screens. Trivia and word and matching games are all fun ways to engage audiences while they eat.
- Capture customer contact information. With screens within an arm’s reach of your customers, you can encourage them to use the interactive tool to sign up for your email list. Offer coupons, rewards programs, contest entries, exclusive content access, or some other valuable incentive to collect customer contact information.
Easy Online Ordering
Quick-service restaurants are all about getting customers their food in a fast and convenient way. Today, that doesn’t mean only providing quick ordering and serving in the restaurant. It also means offering options for at-home ordering and delivery. Customs want online and digital ordering options, making this a top quick-service restaurant technology trend.
- Offer online ordering on your website. Customers no longer want to pick up the phone to place a food order. They want to do it from a website or app. Create a simple online ordering experience on your digital platforms to please customers (and create a more streamlined ordering process for your staff).
- Offer a mobile-friend online ordering experience. Keep in mind that many customers who order online are using mobile devices to do it. Make sure your online ordering system is mobile-friendly, and consider creating a stand-alone app to enhance the ordering experience.
- Designate a food pick-up area. Work to simplify both food ordering and pick up. Make it easy for customers to pick up their to-go food items by setting up a designated line, area, or curbside parking where they can quickly grab their orders.
- Partner with delivery services. Serve customers who don’t want to drive to your location by offering delivery services. And, save your business the stress of hiring drivers and managing the process by teaming up with a delivery service. There are a variety of options (UberEATS, Postmates, Amazon Restaurants, and soon Facebook) that will take over the delivery process for you.
Get started with these quick-service restaurant technology trends.
The quick-service restaurant technology trends listed in this post aren’t just fads that are coming through and will quickly leave. They are essential upgrades and improvements that a QSR must embrace if they want to meet customer expectations and keep up with competitors.
If you are in the process of making these improvements and incorporating this new technology into your quick-service restaurant and need some assistance, we are here to help. Click the button below to get FREE access to our Ultimate Guide to Digital Signage or contact us today to see how we can help you incorporate these important technology trends into your quick-service restaurant.