2010 will be remembered as a fairly positive year for the Quick Service Restaurant sector. One of the most lucrative markets in franchising, the QSR industry often provides an indicator on how franchising at large is faring. I think most people in the sector are relatively pleased with the output for the year that was.
QSRweb has done a pretty thorough analysis of the year in the fast food, and have highlighted 10 trends over the year. They’ve found ‘modest’ financial improvements across the industry with many new product innovations. I’d just like to highlight three trends which might be of particular interest to readers of this blog:
Burgers share the spotlight – While the QSR niche was carved by the classic American hamburger, plenty of other players have made a big splash in the market with signature items that are a bit less traditional. This year harbored the launch or growth of many such unorthodox concepts, from Arabic to crepes to Latin.
Sweet as sugar – Tea made a big splash this year, ranking first as the National Restaurant Association's nonalcoholic beverage trend. Popeyes launched its Cane Sweeeet Tea in the summer and was the first QSR brand to offer the beverage with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener.
Customer’s always right … And now chains have more opportunities than ever to listen to them, thanks to the rapid saturation of social media. Some companies – such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts – have leveraged this vehicle for promotions and marketing, item launches and even product development. Others, including Burger King and Arby’s, were slower to the game and felt the effects.
There's seven more trends that are shaping the future of the sector. Here’s to an even better year in 2011 for the QSR sector.