Fast Food Trends Shaping The Future

Posted by RDT on Jul 7, 2022 2:50:55 PM

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Fast food is one of the largest sectors within the restaurant industry, and it’s expanding: the average annual growth rate has increased to 2.2%. The global market value, which was $797.7 billion in 2021, is expected to balloon up to $931.7 billion by 2027

A major cause behind this was the onset of the pandemic in 2020, which marked a huge decrease in traditional dine-in consumption. However, consumers still wanted to enjoy restaurant food! 2020 kicked off the necessity for some major changes in how restaurants operate though, and many of those changes are here to stay.

Fast Food Trends That Are Shaping The Future

Ordering online for curbside pickup exploded during the pandemic. Customers wanted the safety of going contactless. Even with restrictions relaxing, customers still love this option. 

Along with contactless options, consumers expect speed more than ever. Labor shortages have only made this a tougher challenge to meet. This has all led to a wide increase in digital upgrades. Both online and mobile ordering are becoming standard, and there’s been a flux in on-site upgrades such as self-order terminals, ordering and paying at the table, interactive menu boards, and automated drive-thru kiosks. 

But along with the boom in mobile and drive-thru orders, quick service restaurants are also facing the challenge of in-store customers feeling deprioritized as they watch other customers' orders being made ahead of theirs. Shake Shack is one QSR that found an innovative solution. They recently designed their first drive-thru at a location in Minnesota during covid. It has its own separate kitchen just for drive-thru orders. 

Sustainability continues to be a major trend for quick service restaurants as well. 61% of millennials consider efforts to lower food waste to be a critical factor in brand choice. 

Waste is the Enemy of Profit 

As important as eco-friendliness increasingly is to consumers, many restaurants end up throwing out so much food. A restaurant’s refrigerated inventory at any time is valued at roughly $10,000, so food waste is not only undesirable for a fast food restaurant’s brand image, it’s profit down the drain. 

One of the causes of waste is unreliable refrigeration equipment. Repairs can be pricey as it is, but on top of that, a breakdown in refrigeration can mean a huge loss of inventory and a potential halt to operations.

In recent years, the average cost to run and maintain refrigeration units has risen by about 8%. While it’s tempting to cut corners on costs, excellent refrigeration is crucial to the success of a quick service restaurant.

Keep Your Budget Cool With Polarcraft

Aligning with recent fast food trends, RDT developed Polarcraft in 2021. The goal was to provide reliable refrigeration equipment that helps fast food restaurants stay on budget. Polarcraft features high efficiency and reliable fan motor(s), compressor time delay relays to prevent short-cycling, scroll compressors for medium & low-temperature applications, as well as a powder-coated steel base and housing to help prevent corrosion. 

In addition to quick service restaurants, Polarcraft is also great for small footprint foodservice operations. Refrigerated displays in gas stations and bodegas increase impulse buys, and are a great alternative to replacing profits from tobacco sales. 

With refrigeration solutions, time is often a crucial factor. Polarcraft stocks items and parts for rapid turnaround on service. Click below to learn more. 

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