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The exterior of a Wendy's QSR restaurant

The Future of QSRs

Smaller, sleeker, faster. These are the three key elements that make up the future of QSR locations. The new elements aim to lower overhead costs, appeal to millennial customers and increase productivity. The new target audience is what is driving these changes, which are Millennials and soon enough, Gen Z. In fact, purchasing power has shifted to diners ages 22 — 36. With an interest in technology and social eating – as compared to luxury, the new QSR locations aren’t what they used to be. Read on to learn what these new features mean and why they are important to take into account.



QSR locations are being built smaller. This is a result of the increased amount of drive-through and delivery orders. According to Franchise Times, most major QSRs in North America see as much as 70 percent of their business in drive-thru lanes, and technology is seen as critical to driving more sales and ensuring the experience is fast, accurate and positive. In addition, the rise of delivery services such as Postmates, GrubHub, and UberEats, people just aren’t coming in to locations to eat anymore. Because of these factors, locations are able to be built smaller and more efficiently focused on getting orders through.



Everywhere people go nowadays gets documented on Instagram, Snapchat and more. Because of this, the restaurant spaces should look picture perfect – along with the presentation of the food. This means simple, sleek designs. We love the modern building featured above from Starboard Wendy’s.



In 2019, people expect instant gratification. To speed up processes, many QSRs are implementing ordering kiosks, digital drive-thru displays and even voice ordering, like with Amazon Alexa.

Digital drive-thru displays as a menu board were avoided for many years due to screen glare and the impact of heat on electronics. Now, technology has been developed to work for this venture – and has proven it works. A 10-location pilot with Dunkin’ Donuts resulted in increased customer volume, order value and improved promotion conversions.

Overall, staying abreast of restaurant trends is key to staying competitive in the QSR industry. Let us know which trends you are like the most!

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