November 3, 2015

There's Nothing Fast About Fast-Casual Restaurants

I've made more than my usual number of visits to "fast-casual" restaurants this fall. 

If one listens to the business media you'd think that Americans were flocking to 
Five Guys, Chipotle, and other non-QSR restaurants by the millions leaving 
McDonald's and Burger King locations vacant.

Maybe there's some of that happening if only because, as compared to a decade ago, 
there are a lot more fast-casuals out there. But it appears that fast casuals have put
huge limitation on themselves - the service and wait times are atrocious. 

I submit there are only a limited number of customers who will stand around waiting 
forever for their food. This leaves a huge competitive advantage for traditional QSRs 
because there are millions more customers who will forgo slow food for a quick grab
and go in the drive-thru or at the counter.

Any QSR brand that thinks they can drag those drive-thru customers inside to stand
around waiting for ten minutes after ordering does not understand their customers.

The felony dumb statement of 2015 was uttered from Oak Brook IL when a McDonald's spokesperson said, about Create Your Taste, "If they know we're making it especially 
for them people don't mind waiting".

There are a few such customers out there but not enough to justify destroying a 
restaurant system by being a copycat. 

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