No two restaurants are exactly alike, but they can often be grouped into a few common categories.
The category your restaurant falls into will make a big difference in the type of POS system you choose. A few of the most commonly-used categories are:
Quick Service restaurants or (QSR) is the official restaurant terminology for a “fast food” establishment, with well-known names such as Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s being prime examples of this type of restaurant segment.
Most QSR environments are centered around functionality, with speed and efficiency being primary goals.
- Price point usually ranges from $5-$8 per meal.
- Limited menus which usually consist of handheld sandwiches/burgers, wraps, and a limited selection of salads (which are pre-packaged).
- Offer plastic seating and table tops, table service rarely provided.
- Food is most often taken To-Go.
Menu items are generally low-ticket and of average quality, and sold primarily through a drive-thru line. Inside the restaurant, the quick service kitchen is often hidden behind the service counter, placing food prep out of sight of the customer.
Features such as multi-unit management, complex discounting, and the ability to create combo meals from your menu are all extremely useful in the quick service environment, as customers and managers alike have come to expect these features as the industry norm.
Fast Casual restaurants are a blending of fast food and casual dining and is currently taking the restaurant industry by storm. With Fast Casual, consumers expect the speed of a QSR, but with higher quality ingredients, resulting in a fresher tasting meal.
According to Technavio, the market for fast casual cuisine is projected to reach $66.87 billion by 2020. Names like Five Guy’s, Panera Bread, Moe’s, Quizno’s Subs and Chipotle top the charts as some of the biggest names in the industry.
- Price point on average is $12 per meal.
- Utilize locally sourced produce and other artisan ingredients.
- Prepare food onsite in front of the guest.
- Offer healthier options, including gluten free and vegetarian dishes.
- Usually does not offer table service- gests place order at the counter then wait in the “assembly” area.
There are, however, still many hallmarks of the Fast Casual restaurant that clearly set it apart.
Like Quick Service restaurants, Fast Casual restaurants also typically offer a walk-up service counter, but unlike the vast majority of QSRs, the Fast Casual service counter is often where the food is assembled, with direction from the customer. The kitchen area is also frequently visible from the service counter, sometimes even part of it.
As it is often prepared right in front of the customer as they order it, the food at these Fast Casual restaurants is usually of a higher quality, with much fresher ingredients than you’re like to find in a QSR.
Lastly, as opposed to a drive-thru, most customers at a Fast Casual restaurant are encouraged to dine in, with delivery and pickup options becoming more standard as well.
Restaurant Point of Sale Technology
Quick moving lines ensure customers are receiving food quickly, heightening customer satisfaction. One major goal of every Quick Service Restaurant, and Fast Casual establishment is to keep the lines moving.
Fast-moving lines ensure customers are receiving food quickly, heightening customer satisfaction. At the same time, it also means more transactions take place, equating to increased profit.
Of course, having a trained staff, efficient kitchen setup, and a well thought-out store design can be major contributors to line efficiency. Yet, beyond those elements, the next step toward improvement revolves around POS technology.
Using a reliable, quick service point of sale can make a tremendous difference in order processing and customer transactions. Here are some things to consider when adopting restaurant POS technology, focused on service speed.
Online and mobile ordering can be adopted through a restaurant POS solution. Customers can place orders directly from their office desk or from smartphones, and avoid lines during pick-up. It’s extremely convenient for both staffers and end-users, especially in the fast paced consumer lifestyle today.
Similarly, mobile loyalty apps help encourage repeat orders and easier mobile payment, continuing to enhance transaction speeds and help get customers in and out quickly. Through saved histories, customers can pull up past purchases, enabling one-click ordering. Integrating loyalty programs with your point of sale solution allows you to keep payment processing and data all in one place.
Drive-thrus are an important asset for QSRs. They offer added convenience for customers looking for food on-the-go, and most restaurants are able to move product even faster via drive-thru windows. But have you ever been craving a meal and then see 14 cars ahead of you in line? Many consumers will see that logjam and immediately go elsewhere.
Reliable restaurant POS software (and a competent staff) can help eliminate that problem. Visual confirmation boards reduce the possibility of incorrect orders while high-tech headsets offer clear communication to your customers.
Utilize POS software geared for speed and accuracy to help keep drive-thru operations smooth and consistently. Eliminating unnecessary communication can cut down on wait times.
Cash Drawer and Receipt Printing
QSRs are hectic, aimed to please customers in a very short amount of time. With that, mistakes are inevitably made. But reducing them to the absolute minimum can really make a difference in customer turnover. As part of a reliable restaurant POS system, lever-free paper loading and high-speed receipt processing make it a perfect ﬁt for QSRs, while reducing the possibility of manual errors. Everything can be integrated with point of sale terminals, ensuring correct change, stored data, and physical confirmation for the customer.
As you choose a POS system for a Fast Casual restaurant, ensure it carries features that will allow you to keep operating costs and prices as low as possible, such as robust inventory management, complex coupons, and in-depth reporting.
43% of consumers say they avoid going to fast casual restaurants because they’re “not affordable” and thirty percent cited “lack of deals.” Keeping costs low–and by extension prices—will go a long way to getting more customers in the door.
Regardless of which type of restaurant concept you operate or visit, one consistent theme throughout QSR, and Fast Casual is the focus on the guest experience. Each restaurant type continues to adapt to current market trends and consumer expectations, in an attempt to remain competitive in the market.
Ready to learn more? Check out our Restaurant Point of Sale Solutions Guide, and begin your journey to better restaurant management today!