Last week Plexure was back at the National Restaurant Association in Chicago.
In the tech pavilion this year it was all about speed. With categories named “quick service” and “fast casual” it’s no surprise where brands are trying to find an edge. Restaurants want to create a faster and more convenient experience for their customers.
All the QSR brands we spoke to talked about using mobile to speed up the customer experience. An NRA survey of restaurant brands revealed that 37 percent believe “customer ordering” will be the most important area for technology development in the next five years.
Why do you think mobile ordering and other mobile engagement initiatives like loyalty and offers are important? Well, if you run a restaurant then you know that repeat visitors are one important key to success.
If you operate a small local restaurant you might recognise many of your customers. You might even know some of them by name and be able to give them the kind of service that keeps them coming back. That’s good for business – but it doesn’t easily scale
QSR operators for large international brands serve hundreds of new faces every lunch time, so getting to know them all is a little harder. But you can get to know some of them; especially the ones that use their mobiles to transact.
QSR brands are trying to increase mobile usage so they can get to know more of their customers. To successfully drive mobile usage they need to create an experience that makes food faster to order, more convenient to collect, offers better value on purchases and rewards people for returning.
So it should be no surprise that the QSR executives who descended on NRA last week are investing heavily in mobile technology to improve the purchase experience in exactly this way.
The better they can make the experience, the more customers will use it, and the more they can get to know them.
Of course, the more brands get to know customers, the more they can improve the experience, and this symbiosis holds the key to driving repeat visitors in the QSR category.