Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs). We’ve all eaten at them. They’re fast, convenient, cheap and many times are a “stop-on-the-way-because-I’m-starving-and-need-something-now” dining option. They’re often lined up nearby their competitors – from inside malls to pit stops – giving consumers multiple options to choose from.

For many QSRs, retaining loyal customers can be challenging, especially as expectations are on the rise. Consumers are looking for better quality food, a more simple and convenient process while ordering, better offers, and more engaging app experiences to name a few. In this tech-savvy world, it’s imperative for QSRs and fast casual dining groups to have a powerful location strategy to help deliver on those expectations.

Feeding Consumer Appetites

Having a mobile app is arguably one of the most important ingredients to any QSR’s mobile strategy and with 63% of diners having at least one quick-service app on their phone, any restaurant that hasn’t adopted this will be quick to sour. But there are more layers to simply launching an app. Not all apps are created equal and many don’t have the bells and whistles that consumers demand to transform theirs into a must-have utility.

“More than 65 percent of customers would choose one brand over another based on the appeal of [the] mobile app alone.”

That said, simply having a nice looking mobile app isn’t the only ingredient to success.

Create the Ultimate Value

In order for the QSR mobile experience to truly come to life and create value for the user, it is imperative to provide both utility to the consumer AND maintain the ability to capture and act on all the data that is being collected from the user and their mobile device as they go about their daily lives.

Think of each data point as an ingredient. As more ingredients are added, marketers can get closer and closer to completing the recipe. Skipping ingredients won’t necessarily ruin the entire dish. But if marketers aren’t able to collect, organize, and execute against the data appropriately, they won’t be able to deliver the best experience for diners – and run the risk of losing app users (and diners).

Location and Data Go Together Like Ketchup and Mustard

Custom messaging for app users leaving a nearby sporting event

Connecting the physical and digital worlds help complete the course and allow marketers to create better experiences for their customers. One of the components to this course is real-time audience segmentation which allows for relevant offers to be pushed out based on a customer’s purchase history, past engagement patterns, and demographics to name a few.

With a location marketing solution, these targeted offers become more actionable and not only benefit the diner, but also increase foot traffic and sales for your restaurants.

For example, if a customer who hasn’t made a purchase in the past five days enters a geofence of one of your restaurant locations, you can send them a push notification for a free dessert. Or when a customer dwells outside of a competitor’s location for more than 10 minutes, you could entice them with a 30% off coupon with directions to your closest dining location.

Improving the Customer Experience

When it comes down to it, a well-rounded mobile strategy benefits the end user. Here are a few ways using location data can improve the customer experience:

  • Customize messaging for nearby events and places via geofences
  • Tie in “Order Ahead” app functionality with location
  • Better service customers based on dwell time (i.e. offer a free taco if they waited in drive-thru over 10 minutes)
  • Deploy beacons in drive-thru and entryway so you know when to begin making a customer’s order, or upsell them while they wait
  • Personalize push messaging

Getting on the Menu

Having a complete mobile location-strategy and an A-grade mobile experience will keep your QSR top-of-mind and lead to increased loyalty, repeat visits, and drive ROI.