Though the green movement is well underway in the quick-service industry, some operators are finding that one green tool, solar power, is no easy matter. More chains and independents are moving on the idea of using solar power to provide electricity and heat for their operations. But the technology has its limitations and poses operational challenges to operators.
Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, and Panera Bread rank among the best quick serves in the country in customer satisfaction, according to a study J.D. Power and Associates released on Tuesday.
The 2010 U.S. Restaurant Satisfaction Study evaluated consumer responses to an online survey that measured four aspects of customer satisfaction: price, environment (ambiance, cleanliness, convenience of location/hours), meal (quality/taste of food, meal presentation, portion size), and service (speed, wait staff courtesy/friendliness).
Look out quick serves: Generation Y, aka the Millennial Generation, is coming on strong. From third-graders to grownups pushing 30, they want it their way from Burger King and every other industry player. The smart restaurants will make sure to comply, because the Millennials number 92 million, making them the largest generation in the country. And they aren’t the grin-and-bear-it type.
“Like most people, those of the Millennial Generation value an operation that takes responsibility for its products and services, is honest in the way it conducts its business, and makes customers feel like they matter,” says Lee Igel, assistant professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. “But their feelings about all of this, and the way they react to good or poor products and services, are more intense than those of prior generations.”
When Matt Mitchell was four years old, his parents took him out one night to McDonald’s for a hamburger. But when he bit into it, he tasted cheese. For most people, getting the wrong order is, at worst, a nuisance. But as far as restaurant patrons go, Mitchell isn’t most people. Not long after taking that first bite, his body rebelled.
“I started vomiting, I was covered in hives, it was difficult to breathe,” Mitchell, now 20, says.
Never before has innovation been as essential to running a successful quick-serve restaurant concept.
During what has turned out to be the most daunting recession in our nation’s history, innovation has been the driving force for the concepts that are beating the odds.
Often, the inspiration for innovation comes from the top, and that certainly holds true for the following leaders, who were selected from a wide-ranging list of successful operators.