August 22, 2022

Top Digital Transformation Trends in the QSR Industry

Digitalization has been hailed as the biggest innovation in food and beverage since home delivery, is offering a bigger market opportunity. In order to cater to consumers’ changing preferences and behaviors, quick service restaurants (QSRs) are forced to upgrade their physical stores and introduce innovative digital offerings. During Covid-19’s disruption of the global restaurant industry in 2020, quick service restaurants (QSRs) were particularly affected. And now, in this digital-first age, restaurant industry leaders can’t avoid QSR digital transformation in their business. And for good reason!

Quick-service restaurants are transforming from traditional “fast food joints” to destination dining spots with amenities such as Wi-Fi and interactive menus. Customers are drawn to this transformation because of technology, which powers many features designed to keep them interested and captivated. As a result, QSRs are required to have a network infrastructure that can handle customer-facing technologies as well as back-end technologies to create and support an exceptional patron experience.

Customers today place a high value on control, choice, and personalization. Through the latest digital and kiosk technologies, advanced QSRs keep customers coming back for more. Let us take a look at the top digital transformation trends in the QSR industry in 2022 and beyond:

1) Automation:

The adoption of self-service options by QSRs has increased over the years, and automation can be used to enhance these options. Using automated drive-throughs, self-checkouts, self-service kiosks, and food vending machines, QSRs can offer customers fast and easy ordering options. In addition to providing personalized options, QSRs can discover more opportunities to delight customers with these self-service solutions as they can be further customized.

By combining other leading technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), not only can customer service be elevated to the next level, but also tasks can be automated, waste tracked, production speed regulated, and employee schedules optimized.

2) Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Food and beverage is not an exception to the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Food menus powered by AI can help QSRs provide transparency and information to their customers, enabling them to make good and informed food choices. QSRs can also benefit from AI-driven customization since it can help them understand customers’ changing preferences. In addition to providing visibility into inventories, staff attendance, and customer demands, AI algorithms can also be used to make sure stock inventory is adequate. Additionally, it can be used to manage staff by assigning them to the right places based on customer needs.

3) Chatbots:

Currently, Chatbots are gaining popularity in the QSR industry. Whether it’s recommending food, pairing drinks, processing payments, asking for feedback, or offering promotions, Chabots can easily integrate with different communication mediums.

4) Mobile Apps:

Customers can order and arrange pickup or delivery quickly using mobile apps. Through mobile apps, customers can access food menus and order online and QSRs can notify them of the status of their order and when it is ready for pickup or delivery. As soon as the customer arrives at the designated station, the staff alerts the driver to deliver the meal. As a result, customers have a positive experience, and staffs are able to manage their time more efficiently.

5) Contactless Payment:

Contactless payments are another mainstream trend in the food industry. It is not just about placing online orders, but also receiving payments via smartcards, smartphones, and smart watches. The process is more hygienic and safer as there is no personal interaction or handling of cash. Additionally, it is a quick and convenient way for customers to pay for their orders. To remain competitive in the handheld device age, QSRs need to develop digital payment methods.

6) Contactless Ordering:

Contactless ordering is becoming more and more mainstream in restaurants worldwide, regardless of whether they specialize in fine dining, casual dining, or fast food. A QR code-based ordering and payment system allows customers to enjoy their dine-in experience more quickly and conveniently. As a result of contactless ordering, human error is reduced in the order-taking process, waiting lines are reduced, and the customer experience is improved at a minimal cost. It is a wise investment to invest in a good contactless ordering system, as it brings many benefits

7) GPS:

The early days of the pandemic saw many chains scramble to build curbside pickup systems, which required customers to call into stores to let them know they were parked out front. Now, chains use GPS technology to streamline this process in which automatic alerts are sent to team members when customers arrive.
For example, Domino’s delivery operation has been using GPS since 2019. As the order approaches the two-minute mark, customers receive SMS notifications indicating the estimated delivery time.

8) Cloud-based POS Systems:

Aside from being simple and intuitive, these systems integrate numerous other technologies seamlessly that enhance restaurant efficiency.
The biggest advantage of cloud-based POS systems is their ability to store and retrieve data online. Due to its flexibility, it can be accessed and managed from anywhere anytime, unlike traditional POS systems that can only be accessed on-site and operated there.
Additionally, multiple integrated software solutions help keep the restaurant running smoothly with cloud POS systems.


To Sum Things Up:

The key to achieving digitalized operational success in the QSR or any restaurant is building just the perfect technology work for given circumstances that change constantly.
Looking for more information? Our digital transformation solutions have helped leading QSRs enhance performance visibility, retain and grow customer bases, and prioritize revenue opportunities.