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RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Here's How Innovation is Shaping the QSR Industry

Three QSR brands give a glimpse on how innovation is transforming the industry’s concepts, standards, and products.

When trailblazing food apps such as Neighbour Flavour burst into the Australian market, it shook the convenience category to the core. An influx of innovation is threatening to not only topple tried-and-true concepts, but also redefine the rules of winning in the QSR arena. For The Coffee Club team, the battle for customers is shifting online.

“Within the next 24 months, we believe that people will be leaving their homes less and relying on online delivery services to supply all their weekday and weekend meals,” says The Coffee Club team. “Clearly, being able to offer home-cooked meals as a convenience food is a tremendous benefit for any company looking to gain a competitive advantage.”

The Coffee Club reckons that in this new sharing economy, it can be advantageous for QSR brands to deliver concepts that offer more convenience to customers like creating dinner solutions for time-poor people. There are also vast opportunities to target a diverse range of customers during different day parts and based on their unique preferences.

“We’re currently looking at food and beverages that target a different demographic. We can’t reveal too much right now, but we have some exciting things planned in 2017,” says The Coffee Club team.

Upping the game

Innovation is also firing up QSR chains to continually improve their offerings or risk looking like the stale option in a line-up of freshly baked brands.

“Innovation in the fast food industry means refusing to settle for old standards and upping the game when it comes to food quality, freshness, nutrition, and animal welfare,” says Mark Hawthorne, CEO at Guzman Y Gomez.

“For too long the traditional fast food industry had made compromises for the sake of cost and speed, but we believe it’s possible to serve food fast without cutting corners or raising prices — and that’s really exciting!” says Hawthorne.

For its part, Guzman y Gomez kicked off Fix Fast Food last September, working with suppliers to improve animal welfare conditions as a first step in a bold mission to change the industry for the better.

“We’re committed to proving that fast food can be good food, and we’re inviting other fast food players to join and innovate with us to make the industry better,” says Hawthorne.

Great products

The Coffee Emporium has also felt the shockwave of innovation, spending the past 18 months developing and refreshing its food and beverage menus. The brand reckons that the key to coping is not to change everything at once, but to carefully pick areas of innovation that make sense for its business model.

“We have spent a lot of time and energy to really bring great products to our customers,” says Fernando Pimentel, global marketing manager at The Coffee Emporium. “Innovation can happen in many different areas like technology, food and beverage offerings, payments, ordering, apps, loyalty programs, etc.”

“We can see technology definitely taking our industry to a whole new level. There are many examples of brands in Australia doing great work in each of the aforementioned areas.”

Photo credit: The Coffee Club Facebook page

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