In 1955 when Ray Kroc started franchising McDonald’s nobody could have imagined how much the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and Fast Casual dining concepts would come to dominate the restaurant industry 60+ years later. These restaurants are set apart from full service or table restaurants by their limited menus, minimal table service and, as their name implies, fast service. It is estimated there that were nearly 200,000 quick service restaurant establishments in 2017.
These restaurants span limited-service eating places, cafeterias, fast-food restaurants, beverage bars, ice cream parlors, pizza-delivery establishments, carry-out sandwich shops, and carryout service shops with on-premises baking of donuts, cookies, and bagels. Research from Satista shows the quick service restaurant sector generated 290.2 billion U.S. dollars in consumer spending. These restaurants have become so ubiquitous that they are defining icons of American culture. Their consistency in terms of convenience, menu, service, design, experience, pricing and branding have made them popular choices for every type of consumer. But this consistency also brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to how can one stand out from another and establish customer loyalty? Increasingly the answer is technology, and more specifically, mobile.