Many restaurants and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have been stressed to their breaking points during the pandemic as budget-conscious consumers are uneasy about dining out and unwilling to spend as much on food.
Some restaurants have declared bankruptcy, while others have had to completely close their physical stores to contain costs. Those that have relied on dedicated third-party food delivery partnerships, such as Mexican QSR Chipotle Mexican Grill, are now turning to these arrangements to expand their reaches.
Surviving and thriving in the delivery and carryout market requires managing orders through digital channels to compete for customers. This means restaurants must work hard to differentiate their products and meal offerings from the crowd of QSRs looking to win customers spoiled for choice during the pandemic.
QSRs can best meet these challenges by turning to innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), to help customers interact with expanded and diverse menu offerings. Cutting-edge point-of-sale (POS) systems can also accommodate the rush of incoming orders through multiple channels, further streamlining operations to make customers’ experiences more enjoyable.
Around The Order To Eat Landscape
Many consumers are seeking convenient, easy-to-prepare meals they can safely serve at home, although they miss the restaurant experience and food quality. To help these customers and the restaurant space in general, Ventura, California-based meal solutions provider FreshRealm is partnering with restaurants to help them provide meal kits that allow customers to prepare at-home versions of their favorite dishes. FreshRealm offers numerous at-home options, including meal kits that require full preparation, items that necessitate only certain cooking steps, and fully prepared meals that just need reheating.
Restaurants around the world are working to safely reopen their dine-in operations and reconfiguring their layouts and processes to achieve social distancing, using various mobile apps and contactless tools to do so. U.K.-based hospitality software provider BookingTek, for one, released TableRes, a mobile app that will be free of charge to medium and large restaurants. The app is designed to enforce social distancing during the pandemic by removing the need for in-person interaction.
Many consumers are still cost-conscious as the pandemic continues to cause record-high unemployment rates and strained budgets. This means loyalty programs that give them added incentives to make purchases are becoming more and more crucial to helping QSRs boost their bottom lines, according to data from Paytronix. Fast food Mexican chain Taco Bell, for example, rolled out its new Taco Bell Rewards loyalty program nationwide last month.
For more on these stories and other headlines from the space, read the Tracker.
How Teriyaki Madness Works To Manage Order Integrity
Many consumers are more comfortable dining in their homes than at restaurants, a trend that is having a major impact on the restaurant industry during the pandemic. More than 72,800 restaurants listed on review website Yelp had permanently closed by July 10, according to one report, illustrating the difficulties restaurants face in appealing to safety-conscious customers with strained budgets.
In this month’s Feature Story, Michael Haith, CEO of Teriyaki Madness, discusses how optimizing order management can help QSRs roll out and keep track of diverse menu options that wow customers enough to place — and keep placing — orders.
To get the full story, download the Tracker.
Deep Dive: Why Automated Order Management Tools Are Helping QSRs Offer Diverse Food
Consumers are forgoing visiting their favorite eateries due to financial challenges and worries about COVID-19, with one study revealing that 47 percent of consumers had given up dining out due to these concerns. Many QSRs are finding ways to retain existing customers and attract new ones by providing diverse menus, however.
This month’s Deep Dive examines how QSRs are expanding their offerings during the pandemic as well as the tools they are using to do so.
Read the full Deep Dive in the Tracker.
About The Tracker
The Order To Eat Tracker®, a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration, is a monthly report that examines the evolving restaurant space. The report highlights how fast food, fast-casual and QSR establishments are embracing technology, enhancing loyalty offerings and working with aggregated service providers to offer more seamless in-house and delivery ordering experiences and improve customer engagement.