How Concept Eight leveraged technology to enable cost savings and revenue growth

CEO Grant Lee joins QSR Media Conference & Awards’ Virtual Brands panel.

Having a delivery-friendly service model has allowed Concept Eight’s portfolio to flourish amidst restrictions.

To create a smoother and more synchronized experience with its physical and virtual brands, they are currently promoting their new app and loyalty program, which is experiencing growth.

Click here to join us virtually on October 18 for the QSR Media Conference & Awards, where Concept Eight CEO Grant Lee will share more on Concept Eight’s approach to virtual brands.

QSR Media: What’s your assessment of how the QSR/fast casual restaurant industry handled the challenges dealt by COVID-19?

Lee: We read about “black swan events” and most of us probably never thought we would experience one. From what I have read, and conversations I have had with my peers, there is no doubt the QSR industry handled Covid brilliantly.

Specifically our response to ensuring customers and staff were safe (remember when hand sanitiser was like liquid gold), ramping up, or initiating home delivery, negotiating with landlords (this brought out the best and worst in people), providing leadership and stability to our teams, rewriting business plans within days or weeks- the list goes on.

I’d also like to send a shout out to our business partners who are a very important part of our industry – those supplying drinks, packaging, logistics, food inputs and delivery partners.

From your perspective, what are some key lessons/insights/trends that brands have learned/further understood/need to know as we approach a post-pandemic industry?

  1. Great teams are everything. When you place a great team under extreme pressure they rise to the occasion. I could not be prouder of the way all of our team executed their roles and ensured our franchise partners thrived. Covid was a time to pressure test your business Purpose, Mission and Values. I suspect those businesses that were robust in this area did very well.
  2. Convenience is here to stay -  via home delivery, drive thru, order ahead via an App. Unless you are in a position where your dine in experience is amazing, I predict that these 3 channels will continue to grow at the expense of dine in.
  3. Get your Tech stack in shape. Look at how technology has enabled Uber Eats, Menulog and Door Dash to create a market that did not really exist 4 years ago. Technology in a QSR can enable cost savings and revenue growth when applied in an integrated way. On the revenue front we are experiencing exciting growth from our App and loyalty program, and online advertising. Cost savings are being extracted by our use of data that was not available to us previously as well as rostering and operations software.
  4. Marketing is the engine room. In unsure times, it can be tempting to cut costs and the easiest cost to cut is marketing. In my opinion, this is both a short and long term mistake. In the short term, a business misses out on badly needed sales and in the long term, your brand is eroded.
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