QSRs can compete with Fast Casuals market share growth by focusing on three key areas:
Renovation – Reworking an existing sales floor space to better serve high consumer expectations can change the entire experience of a restaurant. Changing the interior design; remodeling the front of house space, re-creating and upgrading the look are all physical ways to make a QSR more competitive. Creating a roll-out design model to meet local market demands helps franchise market shares across the board.
Technology – Tech-Enhancements go a long way to personalize the consumer experience; drive-through experiences can be upgraded by replacing the speaker box to a high-definition video communication station like Starbucks and digitalizing the interior menu boards like Carl’s Jr. GPS, beacon and smart phone app technologies offer incredible potential for creating new digital and personalized experiences for consumers.
Facility Branding – Implementing a brand refresh program can introduce a whole new demographic to a company. Fast Casual restaurants on average refresh their corporate brands every five to 10 years, but to complete QSRs are now doing so more frequently.
In 2013, sales for fast-casual chains grew by 11%, while QSRs have maintained revenue growth at about 1.2% annually experiencing flattening sales and an increase in the cost of sales. Change has proved necessary for QSR chains like Chick-fil-A, who see development projects cost rise during expansion and renovation.
“The biggest challenge that Chick-fil-A was facing was a large increase in the number of projects we needed to manage within the reinvestment portfolio,” said John Mark Wood, a Program Manager from Chick-fil-A. “The budget went from approximately $30 million to $100 million in a span of one and a half to two years.”
Chick-fil-A worked with a company like ABC, Inc. to manage its reinvestment program. By adapting new development strategies like these, QSRs can stay diversified and contend with their fast-casual counterparts.