Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)

A quick service restaurant (QSR) is a small to medium sized food establishment that provides patrons with food that has already been cooked/prepared or can be cooked and ready for consumption in minutes.

They are also commonly known as fast food restaurants (FFR).

The term fast food restaurant is used more by consumers while the term quick service restaurants is more commonly used in professional business discussions.

Some of the common features of QSRs are that these eating places provide little to no table service, cook and prepare food in bulk for economies of scale, and has a menu with limited customization to menu items.

These days, many of them don’t even provide tables for patrons to consume their orders in the premises and operate on a grab-and-go model.

Their menus are often strategically designed based on price points of what the target customer can easily afford.

For example, a food stand might place a target price point of $5.95 on an item. Then the food item would be designed with ingredients and preparation method that recoups the desired margin.

In modern times, QSRs are dominated by chain restaurants that expand by franchising.

In fact, so highly proven is this methods of expansion that as soon as a quick service restaurant finds some traction with consumers, it would be overloaded with offers to franchise it.

Managing a QSR

It used to be that the competitive edge that fast food restaurants have other conventional restaurants is that they incorporate highly efficient systems of operations.

But these food establishment technologies have become easily accessible these days and various businesses provide specialist service to design and implement systematic food preparation and serving process that make operations a breeze.

However, because of how easily it can be to replicate the food that a restaurant is offering, one of the key factors that a QSR requires to go big is to grow as quickly as possible.

This is partly due to the tendency for such F&B business to need high volume and high revenue in order to clock a respectable profit.

This is easier said than done.

A big challenge is that finding good locations that are available at a fair rental can be very difficult. A partner with a real estate background can be a real advantage.

And the upfront capital required to set up a new store can be quite considerable.

Therefore, an injection of funds is often required for a single successful QSR to branch out to a few location.

But due to the lucrative business of franchising, there would always be a line of investors and venture capitalist who would be interested to fund expansion in exchange for equity in the company.

While the the most efficient way to expand chain food stores might be to apply the franchise model, QSR owners need to be mindful that the success of the franchisees are paramount to the success of the franchise as a whole.

And regular quality checks must be made to ensure that the brand of the restaurant remains intact and not negatively hurt by operating problems in other stores.

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