For years now, the term "fast casual" has been a buzzword in the restaurant world. Combining the relaxed, clean atmosphere of a trendy restaurant with the speed of traditional fast food, the new breed has proven enormously popular, causing many old brands to redo their styles to catch up. A cloud-based POS could be another piece of this process, as different chains look to the most recent online trends to stay relevant to customers.
Fast Casual recently quoted East Coast Wings & Grill CMO Stacey Kane, who appeared at a recent restaurant franchising summit. Kane noted the way social media and digital marketing interact within the business' overall POS system.
"With our loyalty mobile app, that customer loyalty data is integrated directly into our POS," Kane said. "We'll also soon be launching a new loyalty program and an e-club for customers." When discussing the separate accounts that franchisees access within the network, she added that they "use Moment Feed and Twitter on their own. Facebook, however, is corporate-run for consistency."
It can be difficult to pin down what, exactly, makes a chain "fast casual," but the market seems to be stable all the same. A 2015 industry forecast from the National Restaurant Association found that fast casual and quick service restaurants together could expect a limited-service sale growth of 4.3 percent.
More fast casual businesses were set to improve limited-service sales in 2015 than in the previous year. However, more of these businesses faced challenges in areas like food costs, the economy and obtaining credit or financing. Overall, restaurant industry sales were projected to exceed $709 billion.
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