In the world of quick service restaurants, the secret to success is perfecting the customer experience.

Due to a significant increase in customer traffic, a large quick service restaurant (QSR) is finding it difficult to meet high customer demand while continuing the level of customer engagement for which their brand has become well-recognized. With the advent of new technologies, the number of ordering methods available to the customer has increased, creating challenges to maintaining good customer experiences both inside and outside the restaurant.

The challenges outside the restaurant are mainly focused on increasing throughput in the drive-thru area. Inside the store, multiple ordering methods cause orders to outpace the ability of the crew to fulfill those orders.

The QSR is looking for the sweet spot between high-tech and high-touch experiences for their customers; finding a balance between human-led and technology-led customer interactions in both the ordering and delivery processes.

What Accenture did

Accenture partnered with the restaurant to help them design their ‘Store of the Future‘ experience to improve guest and team member experiences, drive increased throughput and efficiency and free up associates’ time for other more meaningful tasks in other areas of the store. To imagine the future, a cross-functional team was gathered consisting of service, digital and spatial experts.

The goal was to prototype, test and validate solutions for both in-store and outside-of-store interactions to make it possible for this large restaurant to offer a fast, frictionless and personal experience that delights more people every day in every market served.

Combining the digital and the physical allowed the team to rapidly prototype and iterate the concepts, resulting in a data-informed design process to determine which prototypes to build to scale to help the restaurant differentiate and revolutionize their customer experience by 2025.

People and culture

A diverse team from Accenture and the QSR’s organization allowed the work to be well-rounded. The restaurant's focus is on team members who embody compassion and kindness and the team Accenture provided matched the brand, making it possible to deliver results while enjoying the process.

The team created quickly, generating new concepts and ideas through multiple exercises. During the engagement, the team ran four in-person simulations with guests and team members to determine perception, invited more than 75 guests to experience the new ideas in person and give their reactions, took seven surveys to gauge reactions and expectations, engaged more than 12 team members in intently reimagining the future of the drive-thru process and received feedback and guidance on concepts from 57 providers.

With feedback captured through simulations, the effect of new designs on each micro-moment of the ordering, delivery and dining experience could be determined to help create the perfect customer journey.

Value delivered

Accenture, in partnership with the team from the restaurant, reimagined the customer and store experience of the future.

Eliminating some of the work involved in the process of order fulfillment, as well as providing better signage and flow patterns, allowed team members to focus more on the guest experience, leading to more positive guest interactions and more individualized service to guests. New models for the drive-thru resulted in nearly four times the throughput, with an average reduction in time from order to fulfillment of approximately 50 percent.

Through rapid ideation and human-centered design, the team was able to create self-service kiosks, recreate store footprint and floor designs, and provide IT operations and integrations recommendations for creating the QSR ‘Store of the Future’.

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