As the amount of people touring the world has risen, the number of individuals depending on Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) has increased. In turn, the amount of money that is being spent has gone up too. It is estimated that in 2014 quick service and fast casual restaurants made up almost 34% of the money brought in from tourism. It can only be assumed that the reason for this influx in interest is due to families on vacation looking for quick, easy and affordable food.
As the economy grows, the travel and tourism sections are growing as well. They happen to be growing faster than the actual economy; travel industry has grown 6.8% while the economy has only grown 1.8%. With this growth, the quick service and fast casual industry will continue to see a rise in profit. This can happen because families want the ability to enjoy their vacation while being able to get affordable food. Taking into consideration people’s need to go on vacation and explore, we can only expect that the industry will continue to grow.
It has been estimated that one in every five restaurant dollars spent is at quick service locations. The NRA (National Restaurant Association) is trying to push the idea of travelers and tourist onto the restaurant owners, to easily attract more customers. In order to help increase the amount of travelers a restaurant can get, the owner must be able to understand the demographics and potential customers that may be coming through.
Knowing the demographics of the tourists that are traveling through will help exponentially with pleasing the needs of those tourists, there are a few ways that restaurants can figure out these demographics. First, U.S. averages and national agencies can provide data to owners, also the International Trade Administration can give data based on the Survey of International Air Travelers to track international flights and their passengers. Being able to track where the customers are from and where they are heading can help owners brand and advertise to those specific customers.
Knowing this information will bring more customers into the restaurants more frequently. In addition to understanding the demographics, it can be suggested to pair up with another brand to become more visible. One idea has been to pair up with a hotel chain somehow. This exposure has high potential to bring more customers into the restaurant. Not only could this be beneficial for the restaurant chain but also for the hotel.
Restaurant owners want to make sure that their brand is prominent in the customer’s head and to create an established presence as well as an enjoyable experience so that the name will automatically generate a good experience when heard. Over the duration of a vacation, restaurant owners want them to dine there multiple times and really build on that mind presence. By promoting the brand name it will create brand loyalty and hence through word of mouth it can generate more traffic to the restaurant.
Some quick service restaurants face the issue of only having seasonal crowds, but are open all year. They get huge bursts of business during a specific time of the year but the other months they struggle to get business. The key to getting those spurts of business is the customers that are local and buy from the restaurant all year. When tourists come through during those busy months they want to feel like the locals and do as the locals do. Creating that brand loyalty will generate word of mouth that will spread that will, in turn, produce more traffic into the restaurant. There is no doubt that the main source of revenue for these seasonal quick service restaurants are the tourists that come through, it is also important for the company to gain loyalty among the locals.