Is Your Cafe Fast Casual or a QSR?
Depending on where you live, you probably notice a new concept restaurant opening in your area about once a month. Most of these new restaurants find a comfortable niche location within a strip mall on highly trafficked street and fit the recently defined genre of “Fast Casual Dining.” This label refers to businesses like Chipotle, Noodle’s and Company, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The aforementioned restaurants have achieved great success because they have responded to a market audience that desires higher quality (often healthier) food, at a faster pace and relatively low cost. These businesses are the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry for good reason. On the other hand, there is the long established category of restaurant known as “Fast Food” or “Quick Service Restaurants” (QSRs) that also achieve comfortable, if not dramatically lucrative, profits. The most successful of these have a strong brand identity and thrive on providing consistent, rapid, low cost dining experiences. Both styles of restaurant can readily be compared to specialty coffee and tea shops respectively, and it is important for you to have a clear concept for your business to achieve its maximum potential. Hopefully you may find that one of these models can help achieve a more unified approach to brand identity in your unique cafe. It is important to note that neither of these examples is the “right way” to run your cafe, you will want to evaluate the criteria for both and see if either concept matches your café more closely.