Adaptability is truly a great human phenomenon. Perhaps that’s why we emerge from the worst of times with new knowledge and ways to thrive. This is precisely what we see happening across industries, particularly in the food and beverage industry.
Restaurant brands are evaluating their post-COVID-19 strategies. They have to devise ways to drive as much revenue as they can and satisfy new consumer expectations at the same time. They realize they have to adjust and adapt on the fly to deal with future changes.
With social distancing and a general fear of infection, there are some significant behavioral changes from consumers. Restauranteurs have adapted the safety-first mantra to meet these safety expectations. We have seen a fast evolution of no-touch ordering and payment systems, along with new takeout options. There have been some dine-in floor plan changes to meet the social distancing rules. Chances of these turning into significant changes are high as the coronavirus continues to linger.
In short, COVID-19 has paved the way for the “Restaurant of the Future.” What we will see in the coming months is a slew of hybrid concepts. These are lessons that restaurants have learned and applied. Now, it will help them be successful in the “new normal.” These hybrid concepts meet the current consumer and operational needs but still have the potential for long-term growth.
What brands are doing
COVID-19 has introduced new creative streams of revenue through unique ideas and hybrid concepts. These are well planned and designed to incorporate a restaurant’s essential elements into a smaller, more efficient footprint.
The Mexican fast-casual brand Qdoba recently unveiled a Post-COVID Transformation with a series of prototypes for the future. It is reimagining the drive-thru with a focus on mobile ordering. It is also moving forward with ghost kitchen setups that focus on off-premises occasions and branding.
The fast-casual chain announced its first drive-thru or walk-up window for half of its restaurants planned for 2021. There will also be digitally enabled pickup windows called “Shack Tracks.” The brand also plans to showcase enhanced interior pickup curbside or dedicated delivery courier pickup areas for its remaining properties.
Taco Bell has unveiled the “Go Mobile” concept for a digital future. Like many chains in today’s pandemic climate, it seeks to create a digitally integrated and seamless customer experience. Customers can order ahead through Taco Bell’s mobile app.
Taco Bell plans to double locations’ drive-thru lanes with a new priority pickup option for app users. A better digital and drive-thru experience with additional access points will attract more consumers. It will also help Taco Bell shrink its footprint to improve ROI.
Burger King, too, has…