Best Ways to Manage QSR Menu Options Using POS Software
Today’s QSR restaurants might look a little bit different than they did more than two years ago when the pandemic unleashed a wave of disruption. Many QSRs suffered whiplash from overnight changes in what customers wanted—and how—but responded to ulcer-inducing uncertainty with eyes-wide-open agility.
Chief among these consumer changes? An explosion in once off-the-beaten-path approaches to eating that have become increasingly mainstream. No longer merely a fringe trend or fleeting fad, diets attached to a dizzying array of buzzwords—plant-based? Keto? Vegan? Paleo?—are now a ho-hum part of the consumer’s nutritional lexicon. And restaurants are rising to the challenge of offering the right menu options with innovative QSR POS software.
QSRs must walk the tightrope of serving niche consumer needs without burdening frontline workers. Here’s how to execute on creating on-trend QSR menu options while making sure staff keep killing it in the kitchen.
Size matters, but it’s getting the size right that truly matters most.
When it comes to making a masterful QSR menu, the last thing you want is your diners to suffer from the dreaded FOMO—fear of missing out. This is why capping your QSR menu options at 10 or less helps customers order with confidence without second-guessing their choices. Any more than 10 and pop psychology says they might end up puzzling over what to pick—and this confusion can lead to lengthy lines when your promise is built on speed.
You also run the risk of seeing order sizes shrink when analysis paralysis sets in. Avoid letting the “paradox of choice” overwhelm diners and pry dollars out of your pocket.
To creating a winning QSR menu, follow these five top tips as your recipe for success:
- Caliber: Offer a curated selection of well-considered items that deliver on excellence and foster loyalty-building repeat purchases. At least one or more of your dishes should be memorable enough to inspire word-of-mouth recommendations that drive foot traffic and build your reputation around town.
- Quality: Make sure the ingredients behind your menu offer the best value for the price. QSR customers want to get the most for their money so when they choose to spend their dollars with you, be sure they walk away fully satisfied with the experience.
- Geography: Don’t just go with your gut–do some digging and find out what’s hot or not in the area where you operate. Your QSR menu should reflect local tastes. Tailor your creations to the palate of the people most likely to walk through your door and give you some business. A national hit for one QSR might flop with your customers’ unique yearnings.
- Target audience: Who exactly are you serving? Be sure to answer that question before you can begin to figure out what kind of QSR menu they’ll want. “Young, hungry guys,” downward-dogging fitness nuts and moms on the move might be entire worlds apart when they’re looking to fuel up. When you’re clear about your demographic, you’ll stand a greater chance of making menu magic.
- Cuisine: Plant a flag in the ground and stake a claim when it comes to cuisine. It doesn’t always make sense to try to be all things to all people. Pick one thing (or two) and execute it well. By assembling your QSR menu around thoughtful food choices, you’re doing yourself a favor and building a stronger brand.
Restaurant owners can lean on their modern QSR POS software reporting to analyze menu performance and weed out the laggards weighing the business down.
When you’re coming up with QSR menu options, you’ll need to understand what makes sense for your paying customers. Jumping too hard on an unproven trend might just end up draining your bank account. Don’t be afraid to experiment with limited-time tests to gauge QSR customer response to new ideas before going whole-hog on a brand-new item.
Consider a controlled release in a handful of areas. Use the data gleaned from these launches to make final menu decisions. Look to your QSR POS software to identify local suppliers who can support any tweaks to your menu. Testing innovative options can help your QSR menu cater to diet-conscious consumers and enhance your standing as a keto-, vegetarian-, or “anything”-friendly establishment. Allowing diners to build a single menu item around their choice of protein, for example, might offer an easy win for QSRs looking to satisfy tofu fans and meat eaters alike.
While you’re always thinking about the guest experience, you’re also more than aware of the demands your employees juggle on the job. This is why your business needs QSR POS software that’s ready to help out back-of-house staff. The system that powers your QSR must seamlessly support your workflow instead of injecting new chaos into the kitchen. Does your POS act up when you’re trying to modernize the menu? Prioritize a platform with digital menu boards where updating the lineup is easy as 1, 2, 3. You’ll also want rich reports unlocking the intel you need to ditch any menu failures and pivot to promising items.
Your eye-catching menu is why customers take a chance on you so be sure your QSR POS software doesn’t let them down. Invest in a system that gives hungry diners the satisfying menu experience they crave while steering clear of the overwhelming overload that sends them fleeing for the competition. If it’s menu mojo you’re looking for, start with a POS that’ll please the pickiest of eaters and streamline behind-the-scenes operations. Your customers and kitchen staff will thank you.