Who’s leading the way in the fast food industry? The BIO Agency's CEO Peter Veash has been examining which restaurant chains are embracing innovative digital experiences to move ahead of the competition.
In a recent feature for QSR Magazine, Peter looks at the strides McDonald's has taken towards digital innovation. The ‘McDonalds of the Future’ concept store in Missouri has since rolled out to Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Kettering in the UK, with more to follow. Self-service kiosks, new technology in the kitchens allowing food to be freshly made, and tablets customers can use while they’re eating are the order of the day. These innovations were based on an understanding of contemporary customer experience and desires, both on and offline. Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK, said “We’ve listened to customer feedback and know we need to modernise further in order to remain relevant… Our converted restaurants will deliver a fast and easy experience, aided by digital and traditional ordering points ensuring we continue to be enjoyed by our customers.”
Peter reflects on the fact that the food service industry is generally slow when it comes to innovation, but that its most forward-thinking players are transforming processes for customers and staff more so than the actual food. “By and large, at the moment, it’s about mobile and automated ordering. Not only does this provide valuable customer data with every interaction, but also it improves efficiency (removing the step of the counter/waiting staff taking the order and relaying it to the kitchen) and saves money (as fewer staff are needed).” He also touches on the new ‘fast-casual’ dining, offering fast food with better ingredients, for customers who want to know calorie counts and provenance.
Returning to McDonald's, he outlines how they transformed the customer experience of online food ordering using an e-wallet and QR codes, allowing them to tailor campaigns and offers through data collection. He finishes up by talking about the three crucial areas for change across any organisation or industry, and how that change must be continual for it to be successful long-term.
Read more from Peter on grocery delivery the Amazon way and how fast food brands are getting technical to keep customers hungry for more.