The fast food business has become a multi-billion conglomerate sprawling across the globe with food chains that have polished and perfected their operations. Regardless of the discrepancy in size, however, small QSRs (quick service restaurants) can glean some lessons from these mammoth enterprises. Here is an overview of some things that can be learned and applied from them the way the big food companies do business.
Consistency in quality and taste is one of the main characteristics of the large fast food business. This consistency is not achieved through simple expertise, experience, or chance. Among the established food chains, there is a prescribed method of food preparation which is painstakingly recorded and followed. Food portions are pre-measured and prepared so that the size of servings is not arbitrary and stipulated cooking temperatures and times are meticulously kept. The flavorings, breading, sauces or batter are all pre-mixed and ready for use in set quantities. Of course, a very good restaurant online ordering software helps these fast food chains maintain consistency when ordering supplies.
- Food is served quickly.
Fast food is called fast food precisely because it is fast. This speed comes from streamlined operations that have become the hallmark of successful quick service restaurants all over the world. Even when cues at the counter are long, food from a fast food restaurant is usually served in fifteen to twenty minutes. This is something that small diners and small restaurants need to build a system around.
- Food choices are clear.
Successful chains have a menu comprised of not too many items and this allows customers less of an opportunity to be fickle. Diners are able to make up their minds quickly time after time. As this happens repeatedly, customers begin to memorize the food that they want and more often than not, they go the stores knowing what they will order – a real time saver.
- Trained personnel.
The crews in fast food business establishments that have made it big are usually trained and it shows. The training they have had taught them to take orders accurately, to show a pleasant face and to move briskly. Their hair looks like it will stay out of the food; their uniforms look clean and if they have any not-very-professional habits (like chewing gum), they certainly do not do it at their workplace. A small entrepreneur may think this is not applicable for a small business but nothing could be further from the truth.
It is another area where small businesses can find lessons to learn, most diners will have a kitchen that is not seen by the customers but the big chains have learned that a clean visible kitchen inspires confidence and attracts a loyal clientele. Of course, his will take extra effort and expense but it will be well worth it. Diners will trust the establishment and keep coming back when food handling is in plain view and they know sanitary conditions are maintained.
- Investing in advertising
This is another lesson that entrepreneurs need to learn from the fast food chains. No one can overemphasize the importance of name recall which comes as a result of marketing and advertising techniques.
It is not impossible for small businesses to apply the lessons that can be learned from big companies. Even the small diners whose owners do not really want to expand their businesses can benefit from these lessons in terms of improved income, smoother operations and better satisfaction for both the restaurants and their customers.