The Fast Food Franchise Industry Has Thrived During the Pandemic: Here’s Why
The worldwide pandemic has transformed all our everyday lives, and many businesses are suffering through it- that is, many businesses except for fast food franchise restaurants like Fosters Freeze! While fine-dining, casual-dining, and fast-casual restaurants have all taken a significant hit amid the COVID-19 crisis, fast food franchise restaurants are flourishing, with some of our own Franchise Owners reporting record years!
Although mostly allowed to stay open, restaurants have had to wiggle around many different standard operating procedures (SOPs) and adapt to the times. The word “pivot” has become an everyday term for restaurant franchises that have had to create workarounds to allow for takeout and delivery orders when their pre-pandemic sales were driven by in-restaurant dining.
Most restaurants have experienced a reduction in patrons, for a few pandemic-related reasons. Yet one type of restaurant has not only been surviving the pandemic, but thriving through it, and that’s fast food! So why is this?
Casual dining woes
Restaurants have had to change a lot of things in order to remain open during the pandemic, from letting go of staff to closing locations, but many restaurants are forced to shut down forever. In some places, it was even made illegal to visit restaurants and bars, whether between certain hours or simply at all times.
One of the things restaurants have to do is reduce the number of patrons in their venue at any one time vastly due to the social-distancing rules that have been put in place.
Ambience has also suffered, with stickers all over floors and often plastic sheets or plexiglass barriers everywhere.
Additionally, staff, even with reduced hours, have to spend a lot of time learning new guidelines and procedures to keep themselves, each other, and customers safe. With customers dining in, remaining staff are under pressure to stay on top of cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and plenty of money is being spent on cleaning supplies. For example, restaurants have to ensure that tables are sanitized after a customer leaves and before a new one arrives. Restaurants are also hard-pressed to get personal protective equipment for their staff when it is in such high demand by people working in the medical field.
There are also times when dining-in isn’t allowed, such as during a lockdown or quarantine period, but hey, people still have cravings! Restaurants have had to adopt curbside pickup options, drive-thru options, and offer delivery. These take time and effort to set up.
Even as dine-in restrictions lift and hope for a return to normal life grows, people are visiting restaurants less in a bid to save money, travelling shorter distances to restaurants when they do go, and really just try their best to stay home and cook there too.
A fast food franchise for special treats
Although people have been trying to eat healthy, cook their own meals, and even diet since the start of the pandemic, fast food is a wonderful, familiar comfort food and there is simply no replacing it. At Foster’s Freeze, we’re serving up double the happiness and comfort, since we have our signature soft-serve ice cream treats in addition to hot-off-the-grill burgers, fresh-made fries, and so much more in our full-service fast food franchise locations- so you know we’re bringing smiles to our customers even when things get tough!
Fast food franchise restaurants have a few advantages over other types of casual dining. Although they aren’t an exception for social distancing and therefore less crowds, they have a high turnover rate since customers are in (in the rare instance they aren’t using the drive-thru!) and out super quickly. There aren’t huge or complicated menus, not very many new editions (generally, but especially not during the pandemic), and customers don’t take long to choose what they want and then pick up their orders.
Most fast food joints also have drive-thru options, which have been around a lot longer than other casual dining restaurants’ drive-thrus would have been. This means that they’re faster, run smoother, and therefore more profitable.
Deliveries are an easily available option as well, with many fast food joints either having their very own delivery team or partnering with a food delivery provider. This makes comfort food easy and safe because it’s delivered right to your door!
Since fast food is – well, fast, there isn’t the ‘need’ to worry about customers wanting to have a dine-in experience. Most customers are happy getting their food and eating it at home, on the go, or in an outdoor space like a park. This is great for a number of reasons, the biggest being that fast food franchise restaurants don’t have to worry about disposable menus, and utensils like other casual dining spots do. fast food joints already have packaging in place for food deliveries, and a system that means customers get their food sooner than if they’d ordered from a typical casual dining place.
There are fewer items to be cleaned since everything is disposable, and far less spent on sanitization since customers come by and leave so quickly, often without touching anything that will be touched by other customers or staff. In drive-thru transactions, for example, the customer doesn’t really need to make contact with anything or anyone at any point, since paying by contactless methods exists now (thanks technology!). And with masking and hand washing requirements in place for all our staff, you can be sure that Fosters Freeze offers a safe, convenient fast food experience to each and every customer who visits our drive-thru window!
Come join us!
So are you interested yet in becoming the owner of a fast food franchise business that’s a California legend? Our food is quintessentially American, unbelievably tasty, and heartwarmingly classic, and if you’d like to serve that to the nation, then we want YOU!
Fosters Freeze can truly be described as California’s first fast food restaurant. Since 1946, we’ve been serving up mouthwatering American classics such as made-to-order burgers, sandwiches, French fries, and, of course, our signature soft-serve ice cream! With 60+ locations scattered throughout the Golden State, we’re committed to spreading sunshine, smiles, and California Positivity through tasty treats and delicious eats.
We’ve weathered economic storms since 1946, so COVID-19 is just another bump in the road. Our impressive legacy has cemented our position as a true California icon, making Fosters Freeze a LOT more than just another ice cream and burger franchise! Some of our Franchise Owners have been part of the Fosters Freeze family for over half a century, operating original locations that have been part of their family for generations!
Our nostalgic appeal, commitment to excellent customer service, and cult-classic status make us a fun and tasty favorite for fans of all ages. If you’d like to join the family, come visit our franchise website for more info!
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