Quick Service Restaurant Data: A Lot with a Little
Ask anyone who was around “back then.” They’ll tell you how much the neighborhood had changed. They’ll talk about the curiosity shops, the one-offs, the bevy of “characters” who made the place just what it was. Then they’ll get wistful, acknowledging that it’s all mostly given way for apartment developments. Inevitably, they’ll mention a few neighborhood staples, but it always goes back to the hotdog stand. How it’s been there for ages, a unifier between classes, a quick stop for great food and prompt service. Thank god the stand’s still here!
And truly, that’s how Ivan started the business. A “what you see is what you get” aesthetic, undeniably good food and service without a wait. It didn’t take long for the stand to become a hit with “line around the block” days a regular accomplishment.
The stand needed to account for the influx in popularity, to stay on top of all the orders. They expanded to a modest, brick and mortar site. Maybe it wasn’t “on brand” for the moment, but they shifted up from paper tickets. Sure, pencil on paper was the traditional method, it just left too much room for error and miscalculation. Plus, on those busy days with orders piling up, an inanimate paper couldn’t account for the influx of traffic. They needed consistency, even at high volume, and brought on technology, specifically a kitchen display system to automate those kitchen processes and keep things running at optimal speed.
Through restaurant analytics and data, Ivan could pinpoint chokepoints in the flow, like where turnaround time would swell on nights and weekends. Besides the traditional restaurant “rush times”, Ivan knew to prepare for the a-typical hours that quick service experience, including very late nights. Despite his limited physical space and simple menu, Ivan still found ways to shave entire minutes of his process (and on a busy night, it all adds up!) and handle any potential storms through strategic staffing.
By every metric, the business thrived, exemplifying “quick service” to the fullest. Ivan still didn’t want the stand to grow beyond its initial impetus though. He knew that, statistically, quick service consumption rates haven’t changed in 15 years, even if many experts predicted the rise in fast-casual to dethrone them.
In other words, people will always want his food. They want the bare-bones, classic neighborhood feel of it. And Ivan indeed doesn’t have to sacrifice any of that old world charm when he works restaurant data into the mix. Behind the scenes, he can make business decisions, and even put cutting-edge technological features like order throttling to use, which help in off-premise dining. Through data and technology, order throttling enables the stand to handle delivery orders, in addition to traditional traffic. Their technology takes a “reading” of the workload, and when it’s slammed, adjusts the delivery quote to reflect.
With data on their side, the quick service operation deftly handles the daily ebb and flow of traffic and activity, adjusting in real-time to keep every process running at maximum quickness. Through automation, Ivan can focus on what matters most: excellent food and quick service. The stand maintains it’s vigorous adherence to tradition and continues stacking profit year after year. Oh, and delivers regionally renowned cuisine to any locale? There’s something they didn’t do back in the day. But let’s be honest, it isn’t all bad living in the modern age.
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About the Author
Brian leads the Implementation, Project Management, Training, and Support Services groups, guiding customers to get the most out of QSR products. He has dual degrees in Information Systems and Operations Management and is a big baseball fan—he’s visited most of the Major League Baseball parks and loves spending summer evenings at Louisville Bats games with his family.