Quick Service/Casual Format

Who’s doing this style of service…order ala fast food but have runners bring food out to customers vrs traditional ordering/serving tableside

Comments or thoughts from others?

Thanks in advance

This is what we are going to do. Right now we are only a Delco. The spot next to us will soon to be our dining area.

The “Quick Service” style is popular around here. We will have beer and wine. They can grab it as they place their order.

It’s a good style for the lunch crowd.

If you are gonna have a food runner why not just have table service? You can hire a server for less and they can also fill the needs of the front counter. They still bus tables, wipe tables, take order just like counter help. But you are in a college town if I am correct…so maybe get em in and get em out?

How do you do it now? What kind of seating do you have?

I hope I can add a little insight, because I have one store that does Quick Serve (order at the counter, we bring it out and then bus) and one store that is full service.

We will never do another Quick Serve, at least not under our current concept. The full service restaurant runs significantly higher average tickets than the QSR and definitely has a higher perceived value, despite the fact that the pricing is the same. We sell more apps, more beer/wine and more desserts there without costing us much additional labor. It’s also easier to monitor guests to find out if they need anything else or if they’re ready for a box. One of my pet-peeves at the QSR is customers coming up for their own boxes when they’re done, but sometimes we just can’t monitor the whole place and know where people are at in their meals.

Full serve also gives us a little bit better control of timing. When were slammed we can delay seating new guests (I don’t see anything wrong with being on a reasonable wait - I see it as a good thing actually) or the servers can slightly delay taking entree orders. That’s not possible at the QSR. The orders come as fast as the cashier can enter it and we can disappear in the weeds in just minutes.

The one downside to the full-service store is that we need to have a server on-duty at all times and it can be a tough position to fill during the lull between lunch and dinner. At our QSR the manager just becomes the food runner during those hours.

Until just recently our QSR did not have a POS system that could handle full service, but we do now. We intend to make the changeover to full service at some point in the next 12 months, but we have a fair amount of remodeling to do in order to make it happen. Moving the soda machine to the back will be the biggest hurdle as we do not have an available floor drain anywhere convenient.

My question resolves around the the fact is that we’re moving to a new/closed location that is/was a QSR concept that seems to have failed for the 2nd time…(3rd time’s a charm?)

We’ve been in this market now for 2 years and our current ‘deal’ has not panned out as expected/desired…

I worked/opened the failed operation’s corporate store many yrs ago & feel I know some of the reasons they failed,

We’re basically dropping our operation into a ‘cleaner’ operation that has seating for 75 and the potential to take a space next door…

I like the QSR format for lunch, but dinner suffers under this concept, I believe…

Not sure if we can mix the two either, between lunch & dinner…

Beer & wine will be served and a liq lic is available w/added seating…

It is an exhibition style kitchen with a 16’ hood/MM 360 conveyor ovens & 2 fryers…

Lunch can be a killer @ this location, so we are considering a modified hot sandwich carving bar…

any other thoughts?

Its my impression, quick service is becoming the norm in the industry. If you have dining, people are going to go sit down and wait for their food. Most of the time people don’t respond well to calling out their names or numbers. What works for us is giving out numbers for customers to put on their tables and bringing their food to them. Otherwise you waste time calling names or your counter builds up with food just sitting there. As time allows, your cashier/front people can still make rounds to the tables to check on things.

Full service is just a completely different animal. Piper makes an interesting point over hight ticket averages with full service but I just don’t like carrying that kind of extra labor. Its also a lot easier to handle a big rush when you are short-handed under the quickservice concept but if you have to spread your labor out to handle full service . . .

Look what’s happening right now in this country. With this whole health care thing coming down and the added taxes and regulations to boot, I just would not be looking to carry any more labor than I have to. The restaurants hardest hit right now are the full service ones.


With all due respect, I would not have achieved our growth over the past 2 years without having converted to full service. ***Don’t confuse full service with high-end white-table cloth ‘chef’ restaurants. Those have failed miserably during the past 2 years. I dare say that my labor % fairs well with most average delcos, yet my average pay far exceeds those same delcos. For some reason, a lot of people think you have to pay ‘server’ wages, or pay drivers less… I find the opposite is true.

If anything, I think your delcos have had a ‘hard’ time of it over the past 3 years. The big 3 and fab cheap-5 have put a lot of pricing pressure on the ‘average’ delco indie.

I think the good move has been to ‘upscale’ your dining experience rather than cheapen or devalue it. Customers have down-sized their dining budgets (hence the high-end stores going under) but they are still value shopping! Even mid-stores/chains like Applebees, etc… have worked to capture those customers.

QSR/Casual = cheap, and no tip. Can you say McDonalds? Not a business I want into.

Hi Guys;

I cannot speak as an operator but as one who has eaten in thousands of food service operations.

My preference is for full service. The server is the contact person for the shop. I like the fact that in many establishments the servers have come to know me and many of my guests.

One place we visit at least once a month the waitress has been serving us for about 20 years.

George Mills

I would definately go full service. Not upscale full service but quick table service. The whole experience is different when you have to get up and get your own drinks, refills etc.

First of all, thank you for my “due respect” :smiley:

But I’m not “confused” over what full service is and nor did I say it can’t work. I started out in full service and have been involved in both fast and casual concepts. Full service is viable but running it is still a different animal than a fast or casual concept. “My comments or thoughts” were that I would not want to handle the additional labor that goes with full service – especially given the tax burden headed our way right now. Regardless of your success, full service is not experiencing the best growth in the industry. I think that a “pizza concept” at heart bucks the trend a bit hear in full service because pizza is still a good value when trying to feed a group of people.

“Imo”, its better to make the step from quick service to casual than to full service. I think you run the risk of turning a lot of your existing clientele off by making that big jump. Later going from casual to full service would probably provide a smoother transition. Full service is a longer dining experience and is more expensive for the customer – especially one who has been frequenting your business.

I agree with you about “just” being a delco as I want the extra revenue stream of dining as well. I also agree with you to not “look” or “appear” cheap. And yet there are those that want the simple operation of just being a delco. If the sales are there, there are certainly much less headaches or things to worry about.

There are pros and cons to everything. Piper pointed out the pro of higher ticket averages you pointed out your growth in sales in going full service. Hopefully I’ve brought up some good “comments or thoughts” as originally asked for as well.