Virtually no business has escaped some degree of economic hardship during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even quick serve restaurants, whose very nature have allowed them to deflect some of the worst effects, have experienced staff shortages and restrictions to the dine-in experience.
However, despite these struggles, QSRs are resilient and adaptive organisations. They continuously employ and upgrade tactics that give them an advantage over other food and beverage venues. Even now, QSRs are adapting existing technologies to increase customer traffic, speed and efficiency of service, giving them a continuing advantage in the hospitality industry.
Methods such as, drive-thru, online ordering and third-party delivery services have continued to benefit QSRs throughout the pandemic. By the end of 2020, drive-thru accounted for 44 percent of off-premises orders. This is likely to increase in 2021 as the trend of contactless service continues.
With contactless service quickly becoming the norm, QSRs are quickly adapting new technology to improve these COVID friendly methods. McDonald’s in the US has begun trialling artificial intelligence in the drive-thru process to increase speed and accuracy.
Completely automated drive-thru lanes and dine-in kiosks have also emerged, which would help with staff shortages experienced during the pandemic and even in a post-pandemic world.
While this technology may be a while off from being fully operational, it can be seen that new technologies are emerging, allowing QSRs to future proof themselves for a post-pandemic world.