Why are Fast Food Restaurants on the Rise?
During the pandemic, casual dining lost a lot of its customer base. Many are still suffering as they try to reopen and start to recover. Even popular chains are adapting, signaling the dawn of a new era of customer service. Fast food is determined to make a comeback, and here’s how.
Photo by Vanessa Serpas on Unsplash
Smarter Pickup Services
Applebee’s and IHOP are two big chains seeking a better approach to fast food. Recently, both made concerted efforts to improve their curbside, takeout, and delivery services. Restaurants that understand the unique needs and wants of consumers—sometimes before they know themselves—will grow back faster. The pandemic changed our way of life completely, and the return to normal will surely seem just as drastic and strange. Get creative to find solutions that draw your customers back. Each business will have its own approach.
So how do these new pickup services work? Essentially, customers order and pay through the mobile app or website and then drive over. That’s all the work they have to do on their end. Then the kitchen gets live updates on the customer’s location and ETA. They prioritize orders by arrival times instead of when the order got submitted, which is an interesting twist on tradition, but that simple change makes a big difference. Every order goes into the buyer’s hands fresh and delicious.
This practice has sped up order turns, which improves customer satisfaction and disperses the queue. That lets you intake more people if your city has capacity restrictions, social distancing is easier and you can offer a contact-free experience. And customers don’t have to worry about location sharing: Privacy remains fully intact.
Fast Food, Reimagined
With lower wait times and an overall better customer experience, you’re more likely to get repeat visits from patrons, too. Retention is huge for restaurants of all kinds right now, as they try to keep guests’ attention with a market full of competition. If you can swing it, you’ll walk away with more income on average.
Customers really do care about wait times; they’ll go to your competition if all else is equal but you’re taking an hour and a half to prepare their food. As we shift back to normal, creative measures like this are one reason that fast food is far outstripping other models in terms of recovery growth. Continue pushing the boundaries of what we know, as the world changes around us and we all struggle to adapt to the return to normal. For the smoothest fast food recovery, restaurants should invest in the latest and greatest technology.
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