15 Jan Hot Tips to a Fast Casual Success
Has the fast casual dream been eclipsed by better fast food, cheaper groceries, and cook-it-yourself meal kits? What tactics are available in 2018 that will re-focus the millennial generation and bring them back into the arms of quick serve restaurants?
The millennial generation eats out five times a week and they want brands that they can trust, connect to on a personal level, and access with smart phone apps. With a little internal renovation, fast casual chains can capitalize on these behaviors. Here are the first few steps toward a fast casual success story.
Fast casual chains should implement digital technologies into their stores with an eye for experimentation. Today’s customers are more bounded to a brand if they can engage with it on their phones, and the same goes for employees. Apps, gaming, check-ins and prizes can help boost revenue and excite the crowd of today’s market.
These measures bring the food closer to the customer while offering a medium for discounts, special promotion, and customer loyalty programs that drive repeat business. New methods of ordering food also have logistical benefits: shorter wait times, more efficient kitchens, and, by extension, an all-around improved dining experience.
Revamp The Culture
The same millennials who are patronizing fast casual restaurants are staffing them, so companies should align the values they project onto their customers with those they invest in their staff.
We know that millennials are strive to contribute to a larger good through their work. Fast casual chains should engineer their values to mesh with the politics of the people they wish to attract and retain, which might include sustainability, ethical sourcing, and social mobility.
Companies that invest in their front line employees are not self-evident; it must be proven through collaborative initiatives that treat employees as socially conscious humans.
Fast casual restaurants should set the stage for the employee performance they expect by providing tools to succeed. In the digital age, companies have many means to make their employees’ labor more efficient and more rewarding.
Restaurants which offer apps to their customers create new opportunities for employee-customer engagement. Some apps can relay that information to servers, allowing servers to anticipate customer’s desires, chat over shared tastes, and even collaborate on new menu items by allowing for small tweaks to the dish.
Going cashless can improve convenience and security while boosting the rate of transactions per hour. Adding kiosk ordering to some locations lessens the margin of employee error and eases the stress of long lines.
It is also known that one of the most commonly reported reasons for employees leaving a company is insufficient recognition. This is a simple yet powerful gesture that can motivate, align, and show commitment to valued employees. Store leaders can utilize engagement platforms which make instant recognition, as well as communication, easy and self-reinforcing.
The bottom line is fast casual restaurants have access to a near limitless stream of data and behavioral insights. Learning to effectively capitalize on the implementation of technology and employee investment will perpetuate a revenue generating trend.