NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. consumers expect more from their quick service restaurants (QSRs) than ever before – demanding freshness, quality and transparency in addition to value and convenience. While a newer generation of fast casual restaurants is successfully catering to these demands, some of the traditional QSRs are struggling to find their place. Rabobank predicts U.S. demand for fast food to stay strong and provides four tips for helping traditional QSRs to retain customers in its industry report, "Don't Panic! We're still Eating Burgers—How Quick-Service Restaurants Can Re-Engage with Today's Consumers."
"Millennials make up the largest generation of consumers, and they tend to be more health-conscious and eager to try bold new flavors. But the change in consumer preferences is more broad-based than Millennials alone," said Paula Savanti, Rabobank Senior Analyst, Consumer Foods. "In previous decades healthy meant 'low-fat' or 'low-calorie, but today it means 'fresh' and 'natural'. This means that U.S. consumers want to understand more about how food is sourced and made, along with its social and environmental impact."
The core challenge facing traditional QSRs is not necessarily the lack of a healthy menu, but rather their inability to engage the consumer in a meaningful experience; food quality and taste are important, but the food's novelty and the story behind it are also key components.
Rabobank recommends four ways traditional QSRs can re-engage with their consumers:
- Be the Best Version of Yourself – The new health paradigm is more about authenticity than dieting. Rather than trying to be something you are not, focus on the aspects of your brand that resonate with today's consumers.
- Keep the Spark – Retain the consumers' excitement and engage younger audiences through product innovation and customizable options, all while keeping the service quick.
- Embrace Technology – Technology should be your business partner. Embracing it can help to improve service speed and accuracy, while fostering loyalty.
- Control the Conversation – Engage and connect with customers via multiple channels. Consumers expect information, and if you fail to provide it, others will provide it for you.
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the largest banks in the world, with nearly $1 trillion in assets, and ranks among the 10 safest banks globally. In the Americas, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industry, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain.
The full report is available upon request.
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