CEO Carl Howard Predicts the Future of Foodservice With FastCasual.com
Our CEO, Carl Howard, has been pretty busy lately, gazing into his foodservice crystal ball and predicting what 2017 might hold for the industry. First, he took to The Lane Report, but most recently, his projections were featured by FastCasual.com.
When asked what aspects of the foodservice industry would take the stage in 2017, Carl’s answer was immediate: artificial intelligence. While he doesn’t think there will be robots baking pizza and boiling up pasta across Fazoli’s locations anytime soon, Carl is confident that mobile payments and online ordering will continue to push their way to the forefront in the traditional franchise chain (FC) and quick service restaurant (QSR) realm.
“Really, the next wave is going to be the ability to have the ordering experience that you want. You can use the personnel at the unit, order online, order on your phone or order at an ordering station. Due to the cost, it may not flourish in 2017, but you will see a lot of brands start to bring this up more frequently.”
That being said, Carl also pointed out the importance of staying on top of consumer demands, namely those surrounding order and delivery capabilities:
“If you are not figuring out every way possible to service the on-demand consumer you will be lost in five years… If a consumer can order it, you better provide it. And if they can receive it, you better be able to deliver it the way they want — at their home, at their office, curbside and pre-order counter pick up.”
As for Fazoli’s future in particular, Carl assured FastCasual.com that plans to cater to the specifications above are well in the works. He explained that the ultimate goal is a streamlined, pre-order and pre-pay process for the dine-in consumer. The idea is that the customer would virtually order and pay for their meal before arriving, come in, grab a pre-assigned pager and have a seat. Their food will be delivered on-demand when they arrive and settle in – talk about convenience!
While Carl anticipates a big year for artificial intelligence, he predicts that the same will not hold true for artificial ingredients! There has been a huge push across the FC and QSR spheres urging business owners to ditch artificial ingredients for healthier, fresher options. He promises that Fazoli’s will be 100% artificial ingredient-free by June 19, and urges folks to keep an eye out for other brands racing to the artificial-free finish line in 2017.
Don’t forget to check out the full article featured on FastCasual.com – and if you’re interested in learning more about Fazoli’s and our current franchise opportunities, contact Sam Nelson at 1-800-446-4368 or fill out our information request form online.
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