Fourth provides end-to-end, best-in-class technology and services for the hospitality, leisure and retail industries. Its procurement, inventory, and workforce management solutions, coupled with a complete data and analytics suite, give businesses the actionable insights they need to increase efficiency within operations, control costs, scale profitability, improve employee engagement, and maintain compliance.

Since its merger with US-based HotSchedules/ MacromatiX, Fourth serves more than 7,000 customers across 120,000 locations globally.

Fourth works with multi-national companies across the hospitality, leisure and retail industries, including McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack’s, Nando’s, Oporto, Starbucks & Taco Bell.

For more information, please visit www.fourth.com

Why embracing big data is key to deliver a better customer experience

Digitalisation has long been a buzz word amongst businesses across all industries, but those in the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector have been relatively slow to embrace it. Over the past year, QSR brands were amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic, and this forced businesses to accelerate their digitalisation efforts not only to stay afloat but also to meet the continuously evolving needs and demands of their customers.

In an exclusive interview with QSR Media, Gary Morley, Sales Director for APAC at Fourth, says digitalisation is QSR brands’ top priority this year, coming off from the experiences and learnings from last year.

“The number one priority we see in the marketplace in 2021 is essentially digitisation of operations and standardisation of both systems and processes within the business. What we see as the challenge is, essentially, having the flexibility to meet demand and setting up for the inevitable growth that’s coming,” he says.

For QSRs, Morley explains that this means focusing 80-90% of their time on the consumers. This challenge to pivot has become even more crucial with COVID-19 proving that satisfactory customer experience is a deal-breaker in keeping patrons, especially at a time when they can easily switch to any other brand that can give them what they want — with just a few taps on their mobile phones.

“As we know, there has been an increase in the delivery model during the COVID time. In fact, some businesses within the QSR space have moved to that model almost 100% of their business,” Morley adds.

Digital adaptation in QSRs

Andreas Mettler, Director of Strategy at Fourth, sees two major trends in digital transformation that aim to level up the customer experience in QSRs.

“I look at them as bookends. On one end, there’s an explosion of devices producing data. On the other hand, we see brands making pretty significant technology investments,” Mettler says.

The first digitalisation trend in QSRs, Mettler says, is best illustrated by the different devices that customers use when placing orders. These technologies capture customers’ data and give businesses information about the different ways people interact with the brand, such as their preference on how they place their order — whether through in-store kiosks, QSR mobile apps, or aggregators.

On the other end, QSRs have started investing in technologies that turn collected data into actionable insights. These data-backed insights, combined with operational tools, can help businesses improve overall efficiency, and subsequently deliver a better customer experience.

“This is where Fourth comes in to help QSRs in this mission. The other bookend — the back-office systems — is about becoming the source of the truth about consumers that businesses need to understand,” Mettler adds.

Forecasting demand with data

Mettler explains that one area where QSRs are challenged is in their ability to generate a forecast that allows them to anticipate and adjust to customer demand, especially amidst a changing sales landscape.

As they continue to adopt technologies to ensure ease and convenience for customers, QSRs are also collating a huge amount of data that they can leverage to improve efficiency in the back-end processes and, more importantly, the customers’ overall experience.

This is one of the big tasks that Fourth solutions aim to address. “Demand is driven by data and at Fourth, we turn a vast amount of data into something usable. We’ve taken a very different approach where we take data that results in demand and we present that to our customers in a usable way that they can operationalise,” Mettler says.

In these unprecedented times, Mettler highlights the importance of looking at data to navigate through customers’ unpredictable phases of demand. Being able to analyse data and incorporate them into systems allow QSRs to come up with a forecast for their new reality.

“It’s about taking a number of data points, transforming them into simple-to-use, simple-to-adjust forecasts and then turning that demand into a production system use such as for ordering systems use and our labour systems,” Mettler adds. 

Combining this forecasting logic with the labour module, he says, will guide QSRs in making sure they are adjusting just exactly where it is necessary — getting the right people in the right positions at the right time that could define a great customer experience for their patrons.

“With that sales shift, the front counter demand essentially dried up and shifted either to the drive-thru or delivery. Last year just drove that further so being able to position team members from the front of the house into the back of the house, having the right technology solutions can help QSRs with that,” says Mettler.

 

About Fourth

Fourth provides end-to-end, best-in-class technology and services for the hospitality, leisure and retail industries. Its procurement, inventory, and workforce management solutions, coupled with a complete data and analytics suite, give businesses the actionable insights they need to increase efficiency within operations, control costs, scale profitability, improve employee engagement, and maintain compliance.

Since its merger with US-based HotSchedules/ MacromatiX, Fourth serves more than 7,000 customers across 120,000 locations globally.

Fourth works with multi-national companies across the hospitality, leisure and retail industries, including McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack’s, Nando’s, Oporto, Starbucks & Taco Bell.

For more information, please visit www.fourth.com

 

Other Articles

How mobile solutions drive back-of-house efficiency in the QSR industry

As the world adjusts to the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry turned to digital channels to serve the changing needs of the customers. In such a fast-paced industry, it is crucial to consider the role of mobile technology in creating the best customer journeys whilst ensuring restaurant efficiency especially as QSR brands strive to provide convenience without losing valuable connections with its customer base.

Manager Adoption is Key to Back Office Technology Success

Back-office software has been around for a long time. So long in fact that there is a lot of legacy software out there that can hold operators back from efficiency gains as they grow.

Creating a Scalable Food Safety Program for Growing Chains

How technology can help communicate procedures and hold your teams accountable as you grow.

This platform is helping QSRs manage a collaborative workforce

In a fast-paced industry, managers need to keep everyone on the same page and work together.

KFC improves demand forecasting, inventory management with  Fourth’s  solutions 

Better forecast accuracy leads to better inventory management, overall efficiency. Understanding the demand-supply concept is easy, but efficiently managing supply to meet demand without sacrificing quality could be one of the most challenging tasks for businesses, including quick service restaurants (QSRs). That is why brands such as KFC recognise the importance of accurate demand forecasting as the key to efficiently manage production and inventory.  

Why data is the most crucial currency for QSRs

Adopting data-backed solutions can spell the difference between savings and losses.

Three ways QSRs need Fourth

Find out how Fourth helps QSRs achieve efficient BOH operations.

How to achieve operational efficiency after months in lockdown

Controlling food costs, lessening waste, and forecasting demand accurately are crucial.

The 3Rs QSRs must do for an efficient workforce management

Find out more about solutions that will benefit both the employers and the employees.

Fourth GM Paul Tregoning discusses how QSRs can better manage operational challenges

The quick service restaurant (QSR) industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic’s crippling challenges. The stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions have changed the industry as we know it. Technology has been a key enabler to keep the lights on for many businesses as brands pivot to digital in order to survive.

Big data in hospitality: The operational benefits

The exponential growth of so-called Big Data is unprecedented and is matched by its enormous potential to change the way we all live, work and think.

Drowning in data? Integrated analytics can be your lifeboat

Fourth Analytics provides not only data and insight from our MacromatiX inventory solution, but also brings in feeds from a whole raft of integrated systems.

Why it’s high time for QSRs to look into data-driven demand forecasting solutions

Imagine closing the restaurant at the end of the day with half of your supplies allocated for the day still on the shelf: this is one of restaurant operators’ worst nightmares.

For improved efficiency, automation is key

Efficiency has always been a hot topic in the QSR industry and brands exert their utmost effort in driving efficiency both at the front- and back-of-house. Over the past year, COVID-19 not only redefined efficiency but also forced QSRs to reorganise their priorities given the pressing need to provide customers with safe and effective means of placing and receiving their orders.