Franchised brands in the QSR industry are beginning to adapt to the new normal – they’re realising the value of diversifying service channels beyond brick-and-mortar operation as a means for future success, to diversify their portfolio, and to help anticipate future trends.
A prime example of this is American BBQ chain, Dickey’s – a 95% franchisee-operated brand which historically has focussed on exclusively shop front expansion.
One of many chain restaurants trying their hand at innovating in their approach, Dickey’s franchisees are now able to expand through brick-and-mortar stores, food-truck options, and, most recently, ghost kitchens that operate off-premises only.
Off-premises is an increasingly common model in the US, offering a pivot from the traditionally labour-intensive and cost-prohibitive shopfront where franchisees can tap into the delivery market without having to be customer-facing.
The model has been proven to lower overheads and presents one of the many opportunities that have risen out of such a challenging time for the industry.
While it may not represent a long-term future for QSRs – consumers will always demand a customer service element when dining out – it has the potential to help those that are struggling to stay afloat, and even expand in a positive way.