In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, quick-service restaurants are increasingly turning to data analytics to learn more about their customers and build new revenue streams. If harnessed strategically, data analytics can help the quick-service restaurant industry unlock new opportunities and become more agile and innovative.
If you are part of a QSR chain and looking for ways to leverage technology to drive customer engagement and business performance, there’s a lot covered in this blog. You will learn about the quick-service restaurant industry, how data analytics can help you transform your operations, and how we can help you accelerate your journey toward becoming a data-driven organization.
QSR industry - where taste meets speed and convenience
Quick-service restaurants were born out of a need for a quick to prepare and deliver food and beverage items. McDonald’s is a classic example of a QSR or fast food restaurant. It was started as a small drive-in restaurant called McDonald’s Bar-B-Q by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, when they moved to San Bernardino, California, in the 1930s.
The restaurant became known for its innovative "Speedee Service System," which used an assembly line-style cooking process to prepare burgers, fries, and other menu items quickly and efficiently. This was in stark contrast to the traditional full-service restaurants, which would offer full table service and a more comprehensive range of menu options and were designed to provide a more relaxed and comfortable dining experience.
Quick service restaurants industry is booming in the 21st century
According to Zion Market Research, “The global fast-food market size was valued at $647.7 billion in 2021 and is likely to surpass $998 billion by the end of 2028 with a compound annual rate of 4.6% over the forecast years.”
However, growth comes with its own set of challenges. In the case of the QSR industry, it is the cut-throat competition from new and established players and reducing customer loyalty toward fast food brands.
Modern customers increasingly favor brands that bring innovation to their offerings and deliver experiences that matter in their lives. As a QSR chain, if you can get this one thing right, you can build customer loyalty, sell more, and multiply profits like never before. This is where you need the help of technology - data analytics, to be precise.
How data analytics can help QSRs innovate and grow
Data analytics is playing an increasingly important role in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry. With the rise of digital technologies, quick-service restaurants now have access to vast amounts of data on consumer behavior and preferences, which can be used to inform business decisions and improve operations. Here are some of the ways data analytics is being used in the QSR industry:
- Menu innovation: For increased customer satisfaction and lifetime value, it is critical to keep optimizing the menu. You can use data analytics to generate valuable insights into the eating patterns of your customers.
Armed with critical insights, you can introduce new items in the menu that your customers will like more and eliminate the items they don’t like. Restaurant analytics, thus, empower you to identify the gaps in your offerings and find innovative ways to fill those gaps. Strategically using QSR analytics can accelerate your journey toward menu innovation and higher customer satisfaction.
- Uncovering new pain points (or opportunities): Restaurant analytics can help you discover a lot about your customers and any unmet needs they might have. You can tap into these analytics to create new and improved ways to package the existing menu items and target the identified needs with more strategic and data-driven campaigns and offers.
- Inventory management: Data analytics can be used to monitor inventory levels and predict future demand. This information can help QSRs optimize their supply chain and reduce waste by ordering only the necessary food and ingredients.
- Marketing and advertising: Data analytics can inform marketing and advertising efforts. For example, QSRs can use data on consumer behavior to target their ads to specific audiences and measure their campaigns' success.
- Customer loyalty: Data analytics analyze customer loyalty to identify which customers are most likely to become repeat customers. This information can then be used to design loyalty programs and to offer targeted promotions to these customers.
- Operational efficiency: Data analytics can be used to monitor operations and identify areas for improvement. For example, QSRs can track wait times and order accuracy data to identify bottlenecks and improve customer experience.
In conclusion, data analytics plays a vital role in the QSR industry. By providing valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, data analytics is helping quick-service or fast-food restaurants optimize their operations, improve the customer experience, and increase sales. In addition, data analytics will likely play a central role in the QSR industry as technology evolves.
Industry-leading data analytics solutions for the QSR industry
Customer data platform (CDP): A customer data platform can help a quick service restaurant store, access, and analyze customer data at the speed of business. A CDP acts as a centralized repository of customer data points, such as Facebook and Emails, and shape more relevant and highly compelling marketing campaigns. It can be leveraged in numerous ways; however, its most notable uses include:
- Storing and analyzing customer data: Serves as a single source of truth for all customer data needs.
- Personalizing customer experience: Use the critical insights gathered from the CDP to launch more impactful and rewarding promotions, discounts, and recommendations.
- Enhancing customer loyalty: Data insights from the platform can be leveraged to increase the customer base by rewarding existing customers and attracting new customers.
The most popular customer data platform (CDP) tools include Segment, Tealium, Optimizely, BlueConic, Exponea, Adobe Experience Platform, Salesforce Customer 360, Google Analytics 360, Lytics, and mParticle.
Google Analytics: It’s a free web analytics tracking tool by Google that businesses across geographies and industries use to understand how customers land on their websites, what they do when they visit their sites, how much time they spend there, and many more interesting insights. A QSR can easily tap into the potential of Google Analytics and see:
- Who’s ordering from their website?
- Which cities are they coming from?
- What devices do they use to land on their website?
Here are some of the benefits of integrating Google Analytics into a QSR application:
- Improved UI/UX and conversions: Integrating GA into your website/application is crucial to understand how your customer interacts with your brand. The customer behavior data gathered from GA over a period of time can help you improve the customer experience on your website/application and generate increased conversions.
- More impactful campaigns: Marketing teams can create programs and campaigns that speak the language of their customers. GA empowers marketers to understand customers at a deeper level and run and test campaigns that deliver the best results.
- Robust mobile experience: QSR teams can use Google Analytics to learn more about how their application performs across devices and screens and the average page load speed of their website; these insights can then be leveraged to optimize the mobile presence of the QSR brand and deliver more holistic experiences to customers accessing the application or website from their mobile devices.
Big Query: Fully managed enterprise data warehouse by Google, BigQuery provides QSRs with a cost-effective and scalable solution to manage and analyze data at the speed of business. You may like to consider BigQuery to include in your data analytics ecosystem to realize the following benefits:
- Easily manage heavy data volumes: BigQuery has been designed to store and analyze large amounts of data. Its combination of a cloud-based data warehouse and powerful analytics tools makes it perfect for quick-service restaurants that generate vast amounts of data from their applications and other sources. With Big Query, these restaurants can quickly scale their data analysis efforts to meet the growing needs of their businesses.
- Streamline operations with automation: Managing data can be complex and time-consuming. However, with BigQuerty automation, QSR teams can automate a significant part of their tasks. They can also automate the process of pulling data from their application and generating reports, thus, freeing up time for more strategic tasks, which can further accelerate innovation throughout their business processes.
- Immediate access to critical insights: A quick-service restaurant can leverage BigQuery to provide valuable insight into customer behavior and preferences. These insights can then help QSR teams make better decisions that can translate into minor or major changes in the menu, location, or pricing.
Power BI, Data Studio, and Tableau: Power BI, Data Studio, and Tableau are among the industry-leading BI tools that are designed to make data visually appealing and thus easy to consume and take action on.
Quick service restaurant chains can emrace these BI tools to gain improved visibility into their operations, and accelerate customer satisfaction. Here are some of the ways that these tools can enhance a QSR mobile application:
- Data visualization: QSRs can unlock the true value of data with modern data visualization tools such as Power BI, Data Studio, and Tableau. These BI tools analyze and visualize data and are very reliable and relatively inexpensive. Since QR teams will be better positioned to explore their data and what it holds, they can drive more impactful campaigns and design menus that increase customer happiness and conversions.
- Data integration: Power BI, Data Studio, Tableau and many modern data analytics can seamlessly integrate with diverse data sources, including QSR mobile application data, sales data, and customer data. This capability enables the QSR teams to get a more holistic view of customer behavior and preferences and drive business growth.
- Collaboration: QSR teams can harness the power of BI tools to collaborate and share data, making it easier for QSRs to collaborate and make data-driven decisions. For example, a quick-service restaurant team can use these tools to share insights and discuss the impact of marketing campaigns on sales.
The bottom line
Embedding QSR analytics deep within your systems and operations can help you drive innovation and increase your customers' average order and lifetime value. However, quick-service restaurants must embrace data and analytics with a clear vision and treat it as a journey, and not a one-time activity.
You can strategize and accelerate your journey toward becoming a data-driven QSR by partnering with a technology company that delivers end-t-end data analytics services. At Kellton, we have helped hundreds of businesses across industries integrate the best data analytics solutions within their digital ecosystems to drive business innovation and growth. Contact our experts to see how we can help you achieve the same.