Jul 12, 2018

QSR

Written by Avantgarde
Reading time: 5 mins

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A fast food restaurant, also known as a quick service restaurant (QSR) within the industry, is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. The food served in fast food restaurants is typically  offered from a limited menu, cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, finished and packaged to order, and usually available for take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are typically part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation that provides standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. 

A Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) is a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. The model it is based on, appeals everyone, since a QSR provides super fast service at a low cost. You can walk right in and order a meal that takes just about five to ten minutes to be prepared. You can then choose to either eat at the restaurant, which will not take long either or just leave with a takeaway package. 

Variations on the fast food restaurant concept include casual restaurants and catering trucks. Fast casual restaurants have higher sit-in ratios, offering a hybrid between counter-service typical at fast food restaurants and a traditional table service restaurant. Catering trucks (also called food trucks) often park just outside worksites and are popular with factory workers.

Modern commercial fast food is highly processed and prepared on a large scale from bulk ingredients using standardized cooking and production methods and equipment. It is usually rapidly served in cartons, bags, or in a plastic wrapping, in a fashion which reduces operating costs by allowing rapid product identification and counting, promoting longer holding time, avoiding transfer of bacteria, and facilitating order fulfillment.

In most fast food operations, menu items are generally made from processed ingredients prepared at central supply facilities and then shipped to individual outlets where they are cooked or assembled in a short amount of time either in anticipation of upcoming orders or in response to actual orders. Following standard operating procedures, pre-cooked products are monitored for freshness and disposed of if holding times become excessive. This process ensures a consistent level of product quality, and is key to delivering the order quickly to the customer and avoiding labor and equipment costs in the individual stores.

Because of commercial emphasis on taste, speed, product safety, uniformity, and low cost, fast food products are made with ingredients formulated to achieve an identifiable flavor, aroma, texture, and “mouth feel” and to preserve freshness and control handling costs during preparation and order fulfillment.

The major fast food chains in India which serve European/American food are KFC, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Dominos. Most of these have had to make a lot of changes to their standard menus to cater to Indian food habits and taste preferences. 

Franchising

A fast food chain restaurant is generally owned either by the parent company of the fast food chain or a franchisee – an independent party given the right to use the company’s trademark and trade name. In the latter case, a contract is made between the franchisee and the parent company, typically requiring the franchisee to pay an initial, fixed fee in addition to a continual percentage of monthly sales. Upon opening for business, the franchisee oversees the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and acts as a manager of the store. Once the contract expires, the parent company may choose to “renew the contract, sell the franchise to another franchisee, or operate the restaurant itself.”  In most fast food chains, the number of franchised locations exceeds the number of company owned locations.

Fast food chains rely on consistency and uniformity, in internal operations and brand image, across all of their restaurant locations in order to convey a sense of reliability to their customers. This sense of reliability coupled with a positive customer experience brings customers to place trust in the company. This sense of trust leads to increased customer loyalty which gives the company a source of recurring business. When a person is presented with a choice of different restaurants to eat at, it is much easier for them to stick with what they know, rather than to take a gamble and dive into the unknown.

Due to the importance of consistency, most companies set standards unifying their various restaurant locations with a set of common rules and regulations. Parent companies often rely on field representatives to ensure that the practices of franchised locations are consistent with the company’s standards. However, the more locations a fast food chain has, the harder it is for the parent company to guarantee that these standards are being followed. Moreover, it is much more expensive to discharge a franchisee for noncompliance with company standards, than it is to discharge an employee for that same reason. As a consequence, parent companies tend to deal with franchisee violations in a more relaxed manneR.

Consumer appeal

Fast food outlets have become popular with consumers for several reasons. One is that through economies of scale in purchasing and producing food, these companies can deliver food to consumers at a very low cost. In addition, although some people dislike fast food for its predictability, it can be reassuring to a hungry person in a hurry or far from home

**Brands should keep in mind the following points before investing in a Quick Service Restaurant:**

1. What will you serve in your Quick Service Restaurant

2. Best location for your Quick Service Restaurant

3. Your own brand or a franchise of QSR

4. Arranging the finances for QSR

5. Licenses and permits of QSR

6. Do extensive research

7. Keep your marketing plans ready

8. Figure out your raw material sources

9. USP of your Quick Service Restaurant

10. Keep your digital presence planned

A Quick Service Restaurant is an incredibly feasible idea if all of these things are taken care of. When inventory and financial management is taken care of in a simplified manner, there is not much left for you to worry about. Talking about today’s times, everything is expected in a jiffy, be it a text message or a new phone model. However, food is leading this race. In a generation where time has become a luxury, a QSR is just the right answer to everyone’s lunches and dinners.


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