2018 is going to be the year in which quick-service restaurants will look beyond technology to differentiate their drive-thrus and improve the customer experience in the year ahead.
Among other predictions for next year:
- Curbside pickup and delivery will grow in the near future, causing operators to make significant investments in packaging. Then delivery will begin to slow
- Responding to millennial tastes, quick-serves will offer far more innovative menus
- Savvy chains will increase spending on marketing at the store level (in-store & drive-thru)
- “Value” will become the watchword of the day
On the other hand, Taco Bell is planning on going in a different direction: The plans call for the new locations to be “cantina style.” They will not have a drive-thru – but they will serve alcohol.
“The majority of the new ‘urban in-line’ locations will serve beer, wine, sangria, and Twisted Freezes, aka slushies with tequila, rum, or vodka,” according to Food & Wine. “Come to think of it, a Cheesy Gordita Crunch with a tequila Twisted Freeze sounds like the perfect pairing.”
Revenues from fast-casual restaurants, the fastest growing service segment, will see gains as millennials obtain higher incomes, supporting sales of higher-priced menu options. Additionally, new restaurant concepts will further drive sales among this key demographic.