5 Ways to Offer the Best Customer Experience for QSRs in 2024 

We will start with this quote by Ann Handley, “Make the customer the hero of your story”. It summarizes the entire purpose of customer experience for any industry in a single sentence.

It really does not matter if you are a fine-dining, full service, QSR or a fast casual, your primary goal should be to get better at customer experience.

According to HubSpot , businesses that provide exceptional customer service can expect to see repeat business from a significant majority of their customers, as 93% of them are likely to make multiple purchases.

I am a big fan of the chicken sandwiches at Chick-fil-A but the reason I absolutely adore this place is their excellence in delivering a delightful customer experience!

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), for the eighth consecutive year, Chick-fil-A has maintained its lead in the industry, scoring an impressive 83, while the average rating for fast food restaurants stood at 76.

In fact, all our favorite and major QSR and fast casual brands like Starbucks, Chipotle, Boston Market and many others are driving innovative ways to go ahead in the customer experience game.

So today we are picking 5 ways anyone in the QSR business can take the lead in offering the best customer experience.

1. Give more than expected – it’s not just about the food!

restaurant table decor with some flower

Good food holds the potential of creating amazing memories but what makes this experience even better?

It has a lot to do with how the place feels. Imagine having a hectic day and then going to a place that again is crowded. What if you are looking for some peace and quiet?

Going to a place full of people can also be a good way for many to relax. So, the idea is to establish a cohesive mix of everything good.

The kind of ambiance a restaurant should offer is a subjective topic but often it’s the smallest of details they can focus on to give customers the exact feeling they are looking for.

A few ways could be:

1) Making it a point to place fresh flowers on the table

2) Playing soft music that is relaxing and soothing

3) Having a well-behaved staff with a smile on their face (more on this later!)

4) Using uplifting fragrances to keep customers well at ease

5) Addressing your customers with their first name instead of their order numbers

6) Training staff to help aged, pregnant women, disabled or anyone for that matter while leaving the place or waiting in the line

2. Leveraging tech – start by using digital menu boards

coffee shop using digital menu boards

In today’s digital age, restaurant businesses must leverage technology to enhance customer experiences. This can range from implementing contactless payments, QR Codes to utilizing digital menu boards. However, it’s not just about using technology, but how it’s used in those matters.

Digital menu boards can be a great way to engage customers, but it’s important to have a well-thought-out content strategy to make the most of them.

Check out this blog: Why digital menu boards are a must for the success of QSRs

It’s not just about displaying menu items but highlighting core items that are bestsellers and using design elements to keep customers engaged. A strong content strategy will ensure that the digital menu board is effective in driving sales and customer satisfaction.

Customers are more likely to order items they recognize and have enjoyed in the past, so highlighting popular menu items can encourage repeat business but make sure you find ways to leverage on your other menu items too.

Design is also a critical element in digital menu boards. The board should be designed with a clear and visually appealing layout, easy-to-read fonts, and high-quality images. The colors and design should align with the brand and overall restaurant atmosphere.

A digital menu board that is well-designed can simplify the process of menu navigation for customers, allowing them to make informed decisions quickly. This can lead to faster order turnaround times, ultimately contributing to higher rankings for quick service at your QSR.

3. Culture forward employees

qsr waiter smile while serving coffee

It is important for all types of restaurants, regardless of size, to cultivate a culture that recognizes and values employees as a crucial component of their business, ensuring they feel appreciated.

That said, they need to be trained and prepared well enough to deliver the customer experience of a lifetime to the customers.

Well, every brand tries to create its own customer experiences but here are a few pointers that every restaurant should take note of when it comes to their staff:

1) Always having a smile on their faces while talking to customers

2) Make it a point to greet all the customers

3) Addressing the customers with their first name

4) Offering free drink refills with a broad smile every now and then

5) Responding to orders with empathy, patience and clarity

6) Being prompt at gauging customers’ needs and tending to them.

Attentiveness to customers’ needs and going above and beyond to provide exceptional service is a crucial aspect of any successful business. One effective way to show customers that they are valued is by taking care of them on a human level.

If it’s raining outside, your staff could open the doors for customers entering the restaurant, or even escort them with an umbrella, particularly those who are elderly or have difficulty walking. Small gestures such as this demonstrate that you are not solely focused on making a profit, but genuinely care about your customers’ well-being.

Furthermore, helping customers to hail a taxi is another example of going the extra mile to assist them, particularly in situations where they may be in a hurry or unfamiliar with the area.

These actions may appear to be minor, but they demonstrate to customers that you are attentive to their needs and willing to go above and beyond to provide a pleasant experience.

It is important to note that these actions may not always be possible, particularly during busy periods or when resources are limited. However, whenever possible, such small gestures can create a lasting impression and foster a loyal customer base.

Ultimately, creating a culture of attentiveness to customers’ needs will set your restaurant apart from the competition and help to establish a positive reputation in the community.

4. Timely and quality service

more qsr staff in pick time

Whether it is a drive thru or a dining, make sure your services are timely and prompt. This point does not apply only to QSRs or fast casual outlets.

If your customers must wait, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience.

I remember this place on the way to my workplace, it’s a café that majorly serves quick food. Often, if I miss out on having my breakfast or a cup of coffee on the way to the office, I make it a point to make a quick stop at this place.

It takes only 10-15 minutes or less for me to get my order at this place. If it’s only a cup of coffee, it’s just a couple of minutes and I am out of the place with my order.

Major credit for this goes to their analysis of customer behavioral patterns and acting on them. I spoke to one of the staff members and got to know that they typically have more staff between 8 am to 11am because they are the rush hours of the place. There is a specific person assigned to everything, taking orders, billing, order delivery and checkout.

With that, the order turnaround is quicker, and the customer experience is definitely on point.

5. Building your menu around modern-day customer preferences

detailed burger menu with ingredients

With wider access to internet and mobile, people are getting increasingly conscious about their food choices.

This brings in a new angle of approaching the way your menu is curated. Core focus is to be given to the ingredients used in creating the menu.

There are two main points to consider for this scenario:

1. Inclusion of new healthy ingredients

2. Replacement of existing items with better options

While it might not be possible to have every healthy ingredient it would be nice to include fresh fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats and low sodium options in your menu in some way.

Taking it a step further, it would be nice to gradually include gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo and others.

Similarly, it would be wise to get rid of white bread and instead introduce several options like whole wheat, sourdough, rye, multigrain, pita, and other preferred options in the market.

We do not advise going completely modern at one go but a gradual inclusion of all the options will make your food space a choice for every kind of customer. It is equally important to maintain the quality and taste of the dishes while incorporating new dietary options.

These 5 points are a good place to start to amplify your CX game. With time, you can test and try new strategies to get better at it.

If you have just started out or are looking for an easy-to-use digital menu board, we advise you to check out our 7-day free trial. You get 700+ in-built templates to work with that you can pick right away and start using.

Reach out to info@dotsignage.com if you are looking to schedule a quick demo with us for your digital menu board needs.

Smit Nebhwani

Smit Nebhwani is a tech entrepreneur with expertise in successfully building SAAS based products. Boasting over a decade of experience in the startup sector, he takes pleasure in sharing valuable insights on all facets of SAAS products. His extensive experience in the digital signage sector has established him as a reputable authority in the industry, and he channels this expertise through some valuable content. In his free time, Smit enjoys music, travelling and spending time with his family.

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