The year 2023 will bring many changes to the food service industry. From post-COVID inflation to restaurant digitization, QSR trends have dramatically altered how restaurants operate today. As quick service restaurants evolve, so must the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and managed service providers (MSPs) who support them.
Let’s look at the biggest QSR trends for 2023 and explore how OEMs and MSPs can effectively respond.
The Top 3 QSR Trends for 2023
1. Digital-Only Quick Service Restaurants
Things like artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have already been creating a buzz in the QSR space. However, a new trend is emerging: digital-only restaurants.
Digital-only quick service restaurants are exactly how they sound. They feature a smaller front-of-house in favor of a more technologically advanced back-of-house. These facilities often feature tools like self-service kiosks and food-preparation robots that eliminate — or at least minimize — the need for human intervention.
McDonald’s recently opened their first digital-only concept restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas. This facility is about half the size of the brand’s typical restaurants and has a conveyor belt for picking up orders placed online, a shelving area for delivery couriers to pick up orders, and plenty of kiosks.
Wingstop, Taco Bell, Chipotle, and more have all tested digital-only concepts, though not to the same extent. “The Forth Worth [McDonald’s] is, so far, the only one of such concepts across the country,” says TheStreet contributor Veronika Bondarenko. “Its success or failure is meant to show the company whether it is something they should expand on.”
While the verdict is still out, this QSR trend has the potential to not only change how restaurants operate but also drastically increase demand for restaurant IT solutions.
2. A Demand for Personalization
According to Salesforce, consumers want the businesses they frequent to understand their individual needs. QSR personalization is an emerging tool that fulfills this need by creating the same tailored experiences and frictionless ordering customers expect from eCommerce. Things like IoT, mobile apps, geo-fencing, and omnichannel tools help QSR franchisees and restaurateurs improve their customer experience and achieve growth.
As a company that provides restaurant IT solutions to quick service restaurants, you must be prepared to efficiently install, repair, and replace the hardware that enables QSR personalization. The better you can meet your QSR clients’ needs, the more likely your business will meet its goals.
Want to learn more about QSR personalization? We cover the topic in depth in this recent article.
3. Cost-Saving Technologies
From supply chain shortages and rising freight prices to skill shortages and increasing labor costs, there is a rising cost of doing business — in the QSR industry and many other sectors. As a result, many franchisees and restaurateurs are looking for ways to reduce overhead and minimize spending. For many, this means prioritizing investments in restaurant IT systems.
QSR decision-makers are likely to complete application and hardware modernization projects in order to reduce the number of devices and platforms they use. Ensure your messaging is strong, so you can accurately communicate your tools’ value proposition and make the cut.
Others may be investing in new restaurant technologies that can help them save. As an MSP or OEM, make sure you have the technical support and project coordination resources you need to scale your deployments up and down depending on demand.
These are just three QSR trends coming to food service in 2023. Check out the 2021 version of this article to see how the industry has evolved over time.
If you need help scaling service delivery for restaurant tech, then contact Kinettix. We can connect you with a team of highly qualified project coordinators and IT field technicians who will support your restaurant IT project from start to finish. Let us help you keep up with the latest QSR trends and take your business to the next level in 2023 and beyond.