If nothing else, COVID-19 has shown the flexibility of QSRs across the country, having to learn and adapt to a changing landscape on the fly as profit and customers drop around them.
The challenges facing fast food restaurants over the past four months have been unprecedented, but they have taught us plenty about how the consumer will approach QSRs now and into the future – one being aptly described as the ‘new normal’.
Of this, it appears a handful of trends will be particularly prominent – each of which support the continued push towards digital ordering and maintaining a positive online presence.
Far from new information, we have further evidence now that consumers value convenience, meaning QSRs that have made it simple to order will retain those customers digitally going forward.
Ease of ordering and reordering creates return appeal. Customisation builds loyalty. Consistency builds trust. Consumers respond positively to the added control that digital ordering represents for them, and the ease of use and reuse.
Many of these also give credence to the fact that offering a range of choices is key. COVID-19 has proven that all consumers are looking for the same thing from their QSRs – flexibility and options that fit the moment, delivered to them how they desire with ease.
Through personalised, direct online ordering applications, as well as third party aggregators, the consumer has that choice laid out before them; quantified and easy to manage. They know exactly what they’re getting and can make alterations as they wish.
At a time when people are getting thriftier with how they spend money on food and are becoming more aware of the higher costs and processing fees incurred through external ordering companies, this heightened transparency and flexibility generates greater loyalty in the long term.