How To Run A Successful Quick Service Restaurant Chain

QSR segment is growing in a massive scale, and hence, you need to be on your toes to bring in regular innovations that will keep you ahead of all your competitors.

The Quick Service Restaurant format has continued to be a significant segment of the Indian foodservice industry, especially in the organized market in India. As per the National Restaurant Association of India, the QSR market was estimated at INR 9,125 crores in 2016. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of-22% to reach INR 24,665 crores by 2021. However, since it is one of the most out there, it is also marred by stiff competition. With roadside food stalls which play on their low price to foreign fast-food chains already known for their brand, it can be quite difficult to survive in the business.

In this article, we will tell you exactly what is a QSR and how you can ensure that your quick service restaurant stays ahead in the competition.

Since, Quick service restaurant doesn't burn a hole in your pockets , hence the Indian price sensitive market relates better with this format.

What Is A QSR

A QSR or a Quick Service Restaurant is a restaurant format in which customers are served food that is pre-prepared in a base kitchen and assembled in the restaurant kitchen. The service style is mostly self-service, and the table turnover rate is deliberately kept high. QSRs are relatively cheap, clean, food options which run on impulse buying of the customer. This is one of the primary reasons why quick service restaurants are mostly located in high footfall market areas. To understand the exact mechanics with which quick service restaurants function, read The Inside Out Of The QSR Business In India.

Tips To Run A Successful Quick Service Restaurant Chain

While it takes a lot to start a quick service restaurant, it takes a lot more to make it a successful venture. Considering the predicament of the situation, we here will provide you with some quick tips that will help you to make your quick service restaurant a growing success.

  1. Keep The Food Quality And Quantity Consistent: Make sure that your food is consistent as your food will create your brand identity.
  2. Keep Innovating: Keep innovating your food menu, so customers have a variety of options and incentive to keep coming back.
  3. Market It Right: Invest in both online and offline marketing channels.

1. Consistency In Food Quality, Quantity and Taste is a Must

One of the biggest challenges that a growing quick service restaurant chain faces is maintaining the consistency in food across multiple outlets. If you can’t provide consistent food across all your outlets, then you can be sure that you will lose out on a lot of potential customers. Have you ever seen that quality, quantity, and taste differs across the outlets of McDonalds or Dominos? Yes, they sometimes do provide region-specific menu items. But all the outlets in a specific city in all probability has the same menu, quality, quantity, and taste of the food items.
One of the easiest ways to maintain consistency across all your quick service restaurant outlets is setting up a base kitchen. Your food items will be semi-prepared in the base kitchen and then they will be distributed to all the other outlets in the city, and the final level preparation and the minor finishing will be done at the outlet level. 

Maintaining the consistency is the major problem that most Quick service Restaurant faces. Sagar Daryani of Wow! Momo stated how they manage to maintain consistency across all their outlets.

Technology plays a significant role in establishing consistency across multiple outlets. Find out how you can leverage it to increase the profits of your QSR here. 

2. Innovation Is The Key

Why will customers come to your quick service restaurant when they do have many QSRs in the vicinity? This is a question that haunts most of the quick service restaurant owners. If you want to keep your restaurant ahead of all the other quick-service restaurants, then you must try and bring in innovations in your food menu. You can do so, by giving the authentic items a new flavor, some catchy names and a new way of presentation. For example, if you are selling burgers, don’t restrict yourself to the traditional tastes and names, on the contrary try and innovate, by giving the burgers an Indian flavor. However, when innovating you must remember, who your targeted audience will be. While a school and a college goer will be willing to experiment, the corporate crowd would prefer to stick to the authentic flavors. Hence, when innovating with your food items, you must take into consideration the interests and preferences of your targeted audience.

“We wanted to build the model slightly differently. Indian food is popular around the world. Indians will not eat a burger every day, but they will eat ‘dal-chawal’ everyday, and there had to be certain pull in that direction. We did the innovation predominantly on Indianising the product. We went crazy with it. We cut out the layers and innovated on the product and the packaging,” Kabirjeet Singh of Burger Singh.

2. Market it Right

Once you have established your quick service restaurant, you must always strive to keep your QSR within the sight and mind of all your customers. Hence, venture into both online and offline modes of marketing, it will help you bolster the overall profit.

(i) Online Marketing

Firstly start by creating your website and social media pages. Setting up a well-designed website isn’t easy, and we recommend you to take professional help for this. You need to create it accordingly so that you have the right keywords in place, in which you want your restaurant to rank when a potential customer looks for the related topics in their search engine.

Innovation is very important when it come to quick service restaurant. Bring in some innovative menu items that suites the Indian taste specially, and see how it augments your sales!


Considering the importance of the social media marketing, you must have created your own social media pages. However, make sure that you don’t forget about it after having established it once. You should religiously update and post photos and videos on these platforms.  Considering that most of your customers are there hovering on these social media pages, how can you possibly miss these opportunities?

In addition to this, you must integrate yourself with all the online delivery platforms; this will help you increase your scope to satisfy all the hungry customers. Online ordering is especially crucial for a quick service restaurant since a quick service restaurant provides something that is easy to make and easy to be parcelled. Hence, if you have not already integrated yourself with these online delivery platforms like Zomato, Swiggy and the like, then there are high chances that you will lose out on a lot of potential customers.

(ii) Offline Marketing

Traditional modes of marketing should never be neglected. This is especially true for a quick service restaurant. Since you are primarily targeting the local customers, you can have a staff placed in the pavement in front of your restaurant, who can be assigned to distribute pamphlets and flyers to the passerby, imagine how many of those passersby can actually turn into an actual customer. However, this obviously depends on how your staff pitches your product. You can also dress this staff in some funny costume which will catch the attention of your customers. Putting up an advertisement in newspapers, taking part in food festivals, indulging into catering for various organizational events in the vicinity and offering catchy and innovative discounts can be a good way by which you can come in the limelight.

“India was a different challenge in the sense that when you come to India, you realize you cannot serve 80%of what you sell, and your core products. So we built the menu from scratch. Despite all the challenges and issues-the forward and backward integration, I have not met a vendor who has said it cannot be done. They say give me some time I will get it done. So with the agility and flexibility of these people, and the amount of talent we have here, whether it’s chefs, food technologists, or people working on the lines, the future for QSR looks bright and beautiful.” , said Raj Varman, CEO, Burger King India, in The Economic Times Round Table discussion conducted in association with DuPont Nutrition & Health.

Like all food businesses, quick service restaurants, although lucrative, have their own sets of pros and cons. However, if you follow the above-mentioned tips, you can be sure to witness a long queue of customers in front of your store!

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