How the Best QSR Operators Embrace Technology to Improve Their Franchises
The oneVIEW Product Team
June 15, 2021
Competing on technology is just as important as competing on food for QSRs these days. Owners and operators stood by watching as other industries experienced explosive growth powered by new technology. Now, the digital revolution has hit the restaurant industry, and there are no signs of it slowing down soon.
In a previous post, we shared some of the main digital components for front- and back-end operations as well as surrounding technology like loyalty and security. Of course, with all the data this type of technology produces, a data analytics platform is necessary to gather the right insights.
It’s a lot to process. Owners and operators know that investing in technology is a necessity. Though, it’s also true that they feel overwhelmed by the rapid pace of acceleration, what technology to invest in, and how to embrace that technology to grow their business.
We’ve been fortunate to be part of this industry, watch the transformation, and see the steps QSR operators take to improve their business with technology at the center. With that, we wanted to share some of those insights.
Spreadsheets have dominated the way owners get information. Now, with cloud-based systems, operators down to store-level managers have more information at their fingertips than ever.
Operational Excellence in QSR
Operational efficiency is the pinnacle for any quick-service restaurant. It helps them hit all the business pillars from a satisfied customer to labor productivity and increased sales.
It all starts with front-of-house point-of-sale (POS) technology, the central part of the technology ecosystem within the business. Modern POS tech allows transactions to happen more quickly and accurately, which is ideal for both time-strapped consumers and for the bottom line of the business. And communication between POS and back-of-house technology means manual processes are automated. There are no more grease-ridden tickets getting lost in the queue or rough handwriting to decipher. A kitchen display screen empowers staff to have a full view of what’s coming down the line, so order fulfillment is streamlined and gets out quicker.
Consumers want convenience. They don’t want to wait in long lines, but they also don’t want to feel rushed by staff to place their order and move along. Staff don’t want to feel stressed either. Mobile ordering and delivery options have helped create better labor efficiency by putting tasks like ordering and payment in the hands of consumers. Because of the integration to POS technology, no human intervention is needed. There’s no onus on staff to resubmit the order when it comes in. They can stay focused on the in-person experience. Plus, QSRs that embrace digital ordering find improved customer satisfaction and increased order size.
There are massive amounts of data coming at QSR operators. How do you aggregate all of that data to get an overall picture?
Spreadsheets have dominated the way owners get information around the business. Now, with centralized, cloud-based systems, operators down to store-level managers have more information at their fingertips than ever. They have data on customers, sales, speed, and more. They have better visibility into what’s happening across their organizations. And with all that data in hand, they can make better decisions in closer to real-time.
Here are a few examples:
Manage efficiencies. In the past, owners and operators could make educated guesses around peak times for their business. They could do as much as possible to prepare their front-of-house staff and kitchen staff, but not much beyond that. With the massive amount of data through front-of-house and back-of-house technologies, there’s no guessing. Operators are backed by data to see the trends around exactly when business picks up and slows down. They can staff appropriately for those times. And they can throttle orders when demands go beyond what the kitchen can handle.
Staff management. POS, back-of-house, and managed video solutions all provide greater transparency into the workforce around areas like order accuracy, speed, cleanliness of the business, and more. Operators can use this data to paint both a holistic picture of their restaurant’s workforce as well as an individual-level snapshot. With performance indicators like these, it makes it easy for operators to further grow strong performers and help those that need may need more training.
Engaging customers. Building a brand backed by loyal customers is paramount. To do that, QSRs need quality feedback they can act on quickly. The problem is that in the past the main way for QSRs to gain that feedback was through table-placed guest survey comment cards. The result was a big lag between experience, guest feedback, and action. Voice of the Customers (VoC) technology has changed that. Guest surveys and reviews deployed through this technology made it so operators can gain almost immediate feedback.
There are massive amounts of data coming at QSR operators. Those were a few examples at the business level, but what about when it comes to above store intelligence. How do you aggregate all of that data to get an overall picture?
For Steve Thompson, owner and operator at Primary Aim, LLC, he was feeling the pain of growing from 30 restaurants to 72 in a 12-month span with no way to gain real-time insight into how those restaurants were operating and performing. “We had a lot of data coming at us from POS, back-of-house, and other third-party software that we had,” said Steve. They decided to implement software, oneVIEW, that could combine all the data into a single application. “It gave us the ability to see information in real-time and make decisions much quicker and more efficiently than we did in the past.”
Technology has modernized the world. Business leaders from every sector have used that technology to become more operationally efficient, which leads to bottom-line improvements. Now, we’re seeing that take shape in the restaurant industry.
Of course, quicker transactions mean more customers move through the restaurant which leads to increased sales. Mobile ordering and delivery options have expanded the ways QSRs can take and fulfill orders for greater sales. But it goes beyond that.
Food waste and managing inventory have always been a challenge for restaurateurs. Now, with the help of technology, it’s making it easier for operators to decrease food waste and not over- or under- supply the business.
Last, but certainly not least, is loss prevention. It’s a top-of-mind area for all QSR operators. POS technology and modern managed video allow operators to gain a clear view of what’s happening at the business level and act quickly. When that data is filtered into an above-store intelligence platform, that allows business leaders to see all their data clearly with little effort. No longer do they have to pour through reports from various systems. They can see it in one view, while also getting alerted to potential red flags.
Bring all your data together so you can act nimbly, and your stores can become more operationally efficient and profitable.
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