Successful QSR management is a challenging job. In addition to facing a labor shortage and increasingly tight margins, your quick-serve restaurant is one in a sea of options for hungry guests in a hurry. Competition for those guests’ dollars goes far beyond the traditional Golden Arches – you’re also competing against the convenience store on the corner, the deli counter at the supermarket, and take-out meals from full-service restaurants all over town.

Face it, most of the places you’re competing against provide decent food, fair prices, okay service, and typically get the order correct. So what truly separates one from another? Take a look in the mirror. It’s the QSR manager on duty — you! — who makes the biggest difference.

QSR Management Tips

Be a leader. The way you approach your QSR management duties sets the tone and expectations of service. So ask yourself: Do you run the shift or does the shift run you? Do you make it happen, watch it happen, or wonder what happened? Commit to leadership excellence and bring your “A” game to every shift.

Provide unique experiences. A fast restaurant experience is a series of interactions which, by themselves, don’t add up to anything memorable. By providing unique guest experiences at each point, a picture emerges — a very different one than your competition provides. Sounds easy and it would be if all guests’ needs were the same. All guests are not created equal nor are their expectations. Restaurants can’t treat everyone the same way and expect to improve guest frequency. This understanding is a key concept to building a competitive advantage that drives success.

Build guest loyalty through your staff. Guest frequency stems from building loyalty to a brand — not only in terms of menu, atmosphere, and service, but also the employees who put a face on what you’re offering. Over time, however, many companies struggle to deliver the basics. Managers who focus on sales, profits and managing service will struggle to prosper in the long term. It’s too easy to be replicated. Competitors will just come along and mimic the tangible — the menu and the prices. It’s difficult, on the other hand, to copy the intangible — the service your employees deliver on a daily basis. Hospitality drives sales and profits, not the other way around. It’s the difference maker, the catapult to greater heights.

Train, train, train. Your employees don’t instinctively know how to deliver service that sets you apart from the competition. You have to train them. Your restaurant training plan should start with online training followed that up with weekly training sessions and daily pre-shift meetings.

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The QSR management management section of our blog is dedicated to helping you successfully manage your quick-service or fast casual restaurant. Check it out!