Between 2015-2020, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) in the U.S. are expected to grow by 3.8%. Now more than ever, QSRs are relying on data enhancement initiatives and location analytics to bring both convenience and efficiency to hungry customers. Restaurants can find success with new initiatives — such as creating a mobile app or reducing drive-thru wait times — by understanding how to use data to enhance the customer experience and target loyal customers with valuable offerings.
Here are four ways data enhancement benefits QSRs:
IMPROVED DRIVE-THRU EFFICIENCY
Data enhancements allow QSRs to analyze consumer trends and better understand what is happening at each individual restaurant — from determining wait times to establishing the most popular time of day for dining. Ultimately, this data allows the restaurants to identify best practices that will improve the dining experience overall.
A key driver in ensuring the success of a restaurant during a time when many customers are relying on take-out involves optimizing the drive-thru experience. This can be done via restaurant design, menu information, or customer analysis. The design of the drive-thru could be altered by utilizing two operating windows rather than three. Menu information can be restructured to show best-selling items first and in bigger fonts, making the selection process easier for customers. An analysis of customer types can also be performed. Are they mostly mothers ordering kids meals, or older adults ordering specialty sandwiches with fries and a drink? Future menu items can then be decided based on current customer preferences.
ENHANCED ONLINE ORDERING
The QSR experience is entering a new age of convenience — how orders are picked up, paid for, and delivered continues to evolve. With more customers ordering online, there is less opportunity for miscommunication and fewer errors. Additionally, restaurants can easily upsell items via their online portal, as pictures often make the food look more enticing. As food orders arrive through digital channels, there is a unique opportunity for data tracking. Customer information can be tracked via orders placed through a website. With this information, restaurants can learn who their regular customers are, how often they order, and their favorite items.
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INCREASE IN MOBILE APPS
The surge in branded apps creates a convenient way for customers to order items. Many restaurant mobile apps save customers’ previous orders and billing information, so ordering and check-out is simple and convenient. It is also likely that the customer’s account is linked to a rewards program, allowing them to apply points or savings to their meals. This experience entices customers to visit the restaurant again in order to secure rewards such as a free burger or milkshake with their next purchase.
APPLIED MENU ANALYTICS
As previously stated, menus can also benefit from data enhancement. QSRs can examine how customers interact with the menu design based on their transaction and order history. Best-selling items would likely be at customers’ eye level in a larger font, whereas less popular items would be placed at the bottom of the menu in order to save customers time when making a decision. Menu analytics can assist in determining which non-performing menu items should be removed, or finding complimentary food pairings and offering a discount when those items are purchased together.
LOCATION DATA BENEFITS QSRs
When restaurants utilize location data, they are able to closely examine the wants of their customer base, and potentially attract new customers with innovative technologies that make the ordering experience smooth and consistent. With customized, data-fueled interactions, restaurants can create loyalty programs, conduct feedback surveys, and personalize marketing campaigns.
By capturing deterministic data, restaurants and stores can better understand consumer behavior and target their ideal buyers more effectively. To learn more about potential benefits of data enhancement within QSRs, download Gravy Analytics’ Retail & Restaurant Overview.
Talk with a Gravy Analytics sales representative to learn how location intelligence can benefit your business.