In the Quick Service Restaurant space, we typically see time and again a case of ‘follow the leader.’ Once something is hot, the chains quickly replicate it and associate their own spin and branding on the concept to capture some of the market share.
While we know this to be true with food products – every entity battling to perfect the southern chicken sandwich for example. We also see this jockeying in the steps before a customer ever takes a bite.
Technology and interactivity have become royalty in the customer experience process.
And we are seeing that the kiosk is king!
We wanted to look at some of the QSR Top 50 to see how they are integrating technology into the customer experience.
Any notion of the chain’s demise is greatly exaggerated. McDonald’s is the top of the list, and it recently reached back-to-back annual growth of global guest count for the first time since 2012.
Executives with the chain believe modernization is one of the keys to success. McDonald’s currently has kiosk ordering in 17,000 of its restaurants worldwide. There are no plans of slowing down.
The sandwich chain ranks 3rd on the QSR Top 50. For company leaders, innovation is definitely on the menu. Subway’s Chief Digital Officer, Carissa Ganelli, recently told PYMENTS.com that restaurants must keep up with the one-click retail purchasing power that Amazon offers consumers.
Ganelli said, “At what point do you look and say your smartphone is a kiosk? We’re still trying to determine what the right balance is [between mobile and in-store].”
The King may not be the top burger joint in the QSR Top 50, but the chain saw same-store sales and revenue growth in the last quarter.
“Our franchisees share our belief that the new modern image will help in driving enhanced guest satisfaction, resulting in more visits and long-term comparable sales growth,” CEO José Cil revealed in a recent earnings call.
Kiosks are nothing new to the pizza chain, which began using them in 2013 to connect with the college audience.
Since then, the past two CEOs, David Brandon and J. Patrick Doyle, worked tirelessly to digitize the consumer experience.
As a result, the company’s stock reached an all-time high in June of 2018.
Doyle, who retired last year, told QSR Magazine in April of 2018, “(Digital) continues to grow, but now we’ve figured out a way that we can get this to be in a fully digital business. And I can’t give you a timeframe on when that’s going to happen, but I can tell you it’s going to happen.”
Kentucky Fried Chicken found itself clinging to the 9th spot for several years before dipping down to 13th place on the QSR Top 50.
The chain has gone all-in on kiosk technology, looking to lock up 5,000 stores – over 70% of their restaurants – with user-friendly interactive displays by 2020.
David Gibbs, president and chief operating officer of KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands, outlined the strategy in a recent earnings call. “We are continuing to make it easier for our customers to enjoy original recipe through the continued rollout of click and collect kiosks and delivery.”
It appears that it’s full speed ahead! Kiosk technology, digital display menu boards, and smartphone integrations are luring more customers back to QSR.
Worldlink is grateful for the partnership we form with QSRs for large-scale deployments and integrations. What’s even more rewarding is hearing the positive feedback about our work not only from our clients – but praise from the customers who are beyond satisfied with the new customer-centric experience.
If you’d like to have a conversation, we encourage you to utilize the Calendly link in the upper right-hand corner of this page to connect with Worldlink VP of Sales, Brett Busconi.