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Restaurants and QSR Industry

Restaurants and QSR Industry

About Restaurants, Food, and Service

What comes to our mind when we say restaurants? Food and service would hit the most. It also makes restaurants a part of both the food industry and the service (hospitality) industry. Restaurants draw features from both. Businesses are affected by changes in either of the two industries. For example, if cooking oil gets expensive, restaurants have to increase their prices. The same phenomenon is observed with services. When retail digital payment started becoming a standard, it became a disadvantage for restaurants to not have the same.

Food and service also constitute the core of any restaurant business. Irrespective of the marketing and retail glitter, restaurants cannot thrive for long in any competitive market without good food and superlative service. Another reason for a greater emphasis on food and service is eCommerce. Food delivery aggregators and cloud kitchens have eliminated the need for restaurants to have a front and in-house services. Businesses can focus on their core and functional activities like food, kitchen, delivery, customer experience, quality control, staffing, SOPs, growth and expansion, finance, etc.

New-age restaurants and QSRs

Discerning, demanding and digital natives, the new-age restaurant patron has higher standards even for quick-service restaurants. Concerns revolve around diet, nutrition, sourcing of ingredients and food sensitivities or allergies. Younger diners are more adept at a sophisticated worldview when it comes to eating out or management of restaurant service issues. So handling the restaurant or QSR outlet in a professional and organized way can help hospitality entrepreneurs to bring a lot to the table. According to a BCG survey, going digital could well be the panacea for the restaurants and QSR industry with concepts like cloud kitchens or delivery-only restaurants. Market leaders like Domino’s note 60% of their sales come from digital channels, according to a BCG research report.

Challenges in the restaurant and QSR industry

Rising costs of inputs

Globally, the prices of raw food materials are rising consistently. We have not been able to maintain our food production targets with the growth rates of the population. This is not something that has happened in the last one or two years but the phenomenon began appearing in the 1980s. The fertility of the soil has decreased over the decades leading to low yields. Every year the problem of shortage of water for irrigation is becoming more acute. With urbanization, there has been a decrease in the number of people employed in agriculture. Since 2020, consumer demand has also significantly increased owing to panic-induced over-stocking. The factor of increasing demand due to the increasing population has always been there. Thus, from both the demand and supply sides, there is a significant amount of stretch on the prices of food materials.

These factors, in one way or the other, have compelled restaurants to increase their menu prices. And when restaurants resort to price hikes, they put themselves at the risk of losing existing customers and attracting new ones.

Difficulties in establishing loyalty

Making a loyal customer base is becoming increasingly difficult for restaurants and QSRs. With changes in lifestyles and consumer behaviour owing to many factors, the trend of eating outside has been on a downward spiral. The pandemic of 2020 further aggravated it. With the option to choose from many restaurants with delivery services, customers are no longer bound by any local limits. Food customers want can be home-delivered, saving them time and effort. The presence of food delivery aggregators makes it more difficult to keep customers attracted. Not only do customers get easy access to a wide number of restaurants and cuisines, but the discount and membership schemes offered by these aggregators leave restaurants with little influence over what they can achieve with their pricing.

Recruitment & Retention

Another big challenge faced by the restaurant businesses is that of recruitment and retention of staff. The first major hurdle is the temporary nature of many jobs in restaurants. Waiters, helpers, and cleaners often tend to change not only jobs but also their industries. Even while recruiting for these posts, most restaurants ignore the relevance of past experience. The next problem is that of poaching. Competitors and new businesses always keep an eye on sourcing staff from other similar restaurants.

Research estimates show that the average employee turnover rate in food services is 155%. Annual turnover among managers is around 61%. Restaurant owners and QSR entrepreneurs need to find and retain top talent as well as invest in technologies like smart kiosks, tablet menus, kitchen equipment’s standardization, third-party delivery solutions and other tools which cannot eliminate but reduce operational errors and dependency on human resources.

For efficient day to day restaurant operations, it is essential to have the right employees at the right place and a good team that works and harnesses collective synergies for giving your restaurant or fast food outlet a competitive advantage.

Postponing automation

Competent business management software has become the norm of the day in the restaurant business. Every business is unique so their software requirements are also unique. But it is important to incorporate automation starting with business management software. In the case of offline restaurants, having the right software can completely eradicate manual calculations and reconciliations pertaining to inventory, cash flow, customers served, items sold, suppliers, etc. In the case of online restaurants, either with their own delivery service or through an aggregator, a unified software solution is critical to managing operations and track performance across channels. Identifying software requirements and choosing a software solution is still a new phenomenon for many small and medium restaurants. Sometimes it is comfortable not to disturb the status quo. However, postponing automation for short term comfort does not augur well for business in the long run.

Missing a clear omnichannel strategy

As digital channels are catching on, restaurants and QSRs are targeting eCommerce models like cloud kitchens or delivery-only restaurants. The need for an omnichannel approach has become incredibly important to keep the business afloat and strive for growth. But many traditional restaurants are still relying heavily on their physical spaces and less on growth via online channels. Indeed, dark kitchens have exponentially mushroomed but their approach is heavily dependent on the food delivery aggregators. They know it and they are ready with their exit strategies. But that is not why you start a business. Often the lack of a clear, future-looking strategy is loudly apparent.

How YRC can help: a glimpse to our restaurant consulting services

As one of the emerging restaurant consulting firms, from opening and launching a restaurant or cloud kitchen to making the transition to a new branch or a franchise model, YRC offers a wide range of restaurant consulting services to businesses of all types and sizes. Considering the diverse nature and needs of the industry, the scope of our restaurant and QSR consulting services extend to include multitude forms of restaurant concepts covering Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), casual dining restaurants, fine dining restaurants, takeaway fast food outlets, dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, boutique restaurants, café, bistro, bakeries, food trucks, pop-up restaurants, pubs, brewery, bars, etc.

Before embarking on a new business idea or an expansion project, a detailed understanding of the target market is critical. We offer market research services that are aimed at providing a comprehensive market impression with actionable insights and recommendations. These inputs are critical for developing a competitive business model and marketing strategies. Our team of restaurant consultants help businesses identify and define their UVPs (Unique Value Proposition) and the framework of the value chain and internal capabilities. For restaurants that opt to go for an omnichannel business model, we streamline their business processes and operations to deliver a one-enterprise-one-system solution across multiple sales channels. Also, our services include assisting restaurants in building and expanding their business via the franchise route.

To help clients better manage their business finances and foresee the commercial viability of their project and business decisions, we prepare the necessary financial and commercial projections and estimates.

For both dine-in restaurant outlets and cloud kitchens, we understand that a good layout planning is critical for space optimization and achieving operational efficiency. And coming to operations, SOP manuals are the backbone of the operations of a foodservice enterprise. We help restaurants establish the operational standards and routines, achieve process orientation, and define their automation and IT strategy.

We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting firm. For more information on our restaurant business consulting services or if you have any queries for our team of QSR restaurant consultants, drop us a message and we shall get back to you.

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    We work only for Visionaries.


    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.


    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)


    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.


    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.


    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.


    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.


    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!


    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.


    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.


    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.


    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.


    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.


    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.


    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.