In further preparation for the coming year, National Restaurant Consultants has been taking a look at upcoming trends, specifically for our clients and colleagues in the quick-serve category. Recently, QSR Magazine published an excellent article about 2023 trends for this sector of the restaurant industry.
It is important to distinguish restaurant types when noting forecasting because the needs and expectations are different across the board. From customers to staff members, what is required in a quick serve atmosphere will look totally different from a sit-down dining experience. Customer service and great quality are always a must, but often the interpretations of those standards change with the environment.
There are some forecasted trends that apply to any restaurant environment, especially in a post-pandemic industry. Covid was unifying in the sense that restaurants had to adapt to customer needs an opinion, and this adaptive growth is key for restaurants in any sector of the industry. This is especially apparent in technological integrations and personalization. From fine dining to “drive-thrus”, consumers are comfortable with digital, but eager for an experience that feels unique to them. Another unifier: recession and inflation. It affects how consumers are spending their money and it affects how restaurants handle the cost of labor and menu changes due to rising prices and supply chain issues.
Specific to quick serve restaurants, we see growing trends that are defining this particular space in the restaurant industry. Digital integrations have placed emphasis on “quick” in these restaurants, and customers are on the look-out for ease. Obviously, there is an uptick in delivery and pick-up options that is expected to hold, but few so called ‘experts’ really believe or are convinced that dine-in will go away entirely. In fact, there is evidence to suggest the opposite, especially in fast-casual restaurants where consumers feel they get the best of both worlds. With needs being met, diners are also excited about dual branding—two options in one place!—which is certainly on-the-rise with an influx of ghost kitchens and shared spaces. Many quick serve restaurants will increase brand recognition, stepping away from generic discounts and focusing on “gaming” with apps and rewards that are more interactive and personal.
Richard Weil, owner and principal of National Restaurant Consultants, weighs in on these 2023 observations. “The opportunity in 2023 and beyond is an emphasis on the basics: consistently great food, service and cleanliness, from from the parking lot to the restrooms. Keeping focused on what really matters—that’s the recipe for success.”
National Restaurant Consultants has experience working with every nature of restaurant and can help your business prepare for growth in 2023. Consider these trends and let our consultants guide your future business plans for a year of relevance and success.