Quick Service Restaurant Ideas to Help You Succeed in This Competitive Industry

quick service restaurant ideas

Are you interested in opening a food business and the quick service restaurant model appeals to you? Or do you already own a place that fits the quick service standards? Then you must be searching for ways to improve your business and increase your revenue.

Good news, you’ve reached the right place. This article is full of quick service restaurant ideas that will help you not only stand out from the competition but also create an unforgettable customer experience that people will keep returning for.

What makes a restaurant quick service?

A quick service restaurant (often referred to as QSR) is an encompassing term that refers to an establishment that offers fast service, a casual atmosphere, little to no sitting, and often, a small menu.

The type of service can differ from restaurant to restaurant. A QSR can be a food truck, a ghost kitchen that only offers online ordering and takeout, and a small restaurant where there is no table service, you order, pay, and receive the food in a small amount of time.

The menu usually offers few choices and focuses on items that are traditionally easy and fast to prepare (pizza, burgers, sandwiches) in order to fulfill the promise of fast service.

What do you need to stand out in the quick service restaurant industry?

There are probably many quick service restaurants in your area you will be competing with. How can you persuade people to choose your place instead of others? A great tip is to rely on technology to help you run your business and create a great experience for your customers.

Check out these quick service restaurant ideas that will help you be noticed in the industry:

An efficient online ordering system

Because a quick service restaurant has almost no seating, your focus should be on online and takeout sales. A great tool for streamlining your online orders is the online ordering system from GloriaFood.

First of all, it is free, so it won’t cut into your budget. Secondly, it is much more than an online ordering system, it also has an integrated marketing engine that will help you get the word out about your business and constantly attract new and returning customers.

Ensure your quick service restaurant’s success by relying on technology Install an online ordering system to your website for free Start now

Clients will also love it because it will allow them to easily place orders with just a few clicks, on your website. They will enjoy the ordering process so much, that they will surely come back again and again to enjoy your great food.

Watch this video to learn how to set up online ordering for a restaurant in just 10 minutes:

An optimized restaurant website

To convince potential clients to order from you, you must show them you are a trustworthy business. An elegant, responsive, and optimized website is the first step to doing so.

Placing orders by phone takes too long and leaves room for human error. To deliver the fast service you promise, you must allow customers to place orders in a convenient way: directly on your website. Bonus points if you have a visible menu button, so clients don’t get frustrated trying to find it.

If you don’t already have a website, you can get a sales-optimized website from our online ordering system’s admin. You will receive an SEO-optimized site designed to help you rank high in Google searches.

Furthermore, the menu button is placed above the fold and in a contrasting color to increase conversion. The website loads just as fast on every smart device, so hungry clients can order your food fast.

quick service restaurant trends

Check out this video to see how easy and convenient it is to use our restaurant website builder:

Click here to see a demo website that will make you want to get an optimized website of your own immediately.

A hard to say no to menu

The two most known quick service restaurant characteristics regarding the menu are: it must be short, and the menu items should be affordable.

The small menu will help both you and your clients. As a quick service restaurant owner, if you want to offer fast service, you can only prepare a limited number of items in a short period of time. For example, when you only sell burgers, you can have all the ingredients ready and finish the dish in seconds.

Customers also expect a small-scale menu, and it makes it easier for them to decide what they want to eat if they only have to choose the type of meat and toppings.

If you use our online ordering system, creating a quick service restaurant menu is a breeze. You use categories to make it easy to browse and have access to our free photo gallery if you don’t have professional photos of your food yet:

A great idea for quick service restaurants to increase their revenue is to allow menu item customization. For example, offering different sizes of pizza and a variety of toppings with a big profit margin. Watch this video to learn how to easily do it:

Promotions, promotions, promotions

We can't talk about quick service restaurant ideas without mentioning promotions. They are a great tool to attract new customers, convince previous clients to order again, and increase your order value.

The one thing people expect from a quick service restaurant besides fast service is a good deal. People want their food ready in minutes and they want to get a bang for their buck.

So why not create offers like free delivery, a free item for orders over $40, a 2+1 combo, and much more? Creating promotions with our online ordering system is a walk in the park:

The promos will be visible at the top of your online restaurant menu. Because they are the first thing a potential customer sees when they open your menu, they will be tempted to use them every time.

You can also persuade clients to order by creating Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). If a deal is only available for a limited amount of time, let’s say during lunch hours, people will hurry to take advantage of it.

Check out this video that teaches you how to use the advanced promotion settings to keep customers coming back:

A branded mobile app

If you want to go a step further and offer your clients a great food ordering experience, you must consider getting your own branded mobile app.

Offer an unforgettable restaurant customer experience with a branded mobile app Get yours easily with the online ordering system from GloriaFood Start now

It works just like any native app: it can be easily downloaded and lives on the customer’s screen. Because they see it on their phone every day, when they are hungry, they will be enticed to use it because it is within easy reach and the food is good.

To get it, go to our online ordering system’s admin -> Setup -> Publishing -> Branded mobile app:

quick service restaurant ideas

Quick service restaurant ideas and tips for success

You now have the technology and tools to run an efficient restaurant, but you could still use some quick service restaurant ideas to make you stand out from the crowd. Follow these tips & tricks to make your name known and bring customers in:

Focus on branding to attract attention

Branding is a must for every type of restaurant because it creates a unitary image that will become easy to recognize in time. But, because you activate in such a competitive field, you may want to go for more out-of-the-box quick service restaurant ideas.

Find something special that no other quick service restaurant in your area does. For example, you can appeal to the eco-conscious crowds by making it your mission to have eco-friendly packaging and as little food waste as possible.

Or make it a football-centric space with dedicated décor, packaging, and marketing. You can even have a screen that plays football matches to entice football lovers to gather at your restaurant to have a bite and support their teams.

Offer an outstanding service (online and offline)

People may try any quick service restaurant once, but they will only come back if they enjoy the food and the service. We trust you have the food part handled, so we will throw in a few quick service restaurant ideas for online and offline.

Here is what you can do online:

  • Have a great online ordering system that makes food ordering a pleasure;
  • Own a restaurant website that runs smoothly with a visible menu button;
  • Interact with people on social media and reply to their comments so they feel seen;
  • Reply to reviews on review platforms, even if they are negative to show people you care.

Here is what you can do offline:

  • Train your employees to be polite and friendly with every customer;
  • Make the in-person ordering process as simple and clear as possible (add signs for the ordering and pick-up queues);
  • Offer every item that is needed to enjoy the meal such as napkins and cutlery.

Go above and beyond with marketing

Launching a restaurant without marketing is like trying to cut down a tree with a kitchen knife. The results won’t be there.

On top of the basic marketing methods such as being present on social media, paying for advertisements, and running promotions, we have gathered a few creative quick service restaurant ideas you must try:

  • Try email marketing: often overlooked, this efficient marketing technique could persuade former clients to become loyal and increase your sales in the process. Our online ordering system has an integrated email marketing campaign tool that does the work for you. Check out how useful the Autopilot module can be for you:
  • Have an active TikTok channel: many people browsing TikTok can be persuaded to visit a restaurant if they see a convincing video. Why not start creating content showcasing your food and other strong points? There is a chance you will go viral and gain a variety of new clients;
  • Invite micro-influencers to your quick service restaurant: if you are a small quick service restaurant, you may not have the funds to pay big food influencers for a review. Instead, contact small influencers and offer them a free meal for a positive mention to gain access to a new audience.


Even though you chose a very competitive industry, with the right quick service restaurant ideas, you can own a profitable business for many years. Rely on technology for the best customer experience and don’t be afraid to implement out-of-the-box plans to stand out from your competitors.

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

Create your own restaurant website

Get Started