How Great Customer Service is Generating More Revenue for Quick Service Restaurants


Over the past three years, the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and Fast Casual industries have been completely transformed– from the ordering experience to the way food arrives on our plates. This urgent shift to meet demand has revealed which brands made long-term investments in digital change, and which have scrambled to keep up.

In December 2021, Simplr hired a third-party mystery shop firm to anonymously evaluate the online and in-app experiences of 119 Quick Service and Fast Casual restaurants. Each brand was scored on a variety of measures that covered the entire “phone-to-table” experience. All the results can be found in Simplr’s State of Digital CX in Quick Service Restaurants report.

A majority of customers are left wanting more after an online experience with a QSR or Fast Casual brand.

We’ve always known that NOW Customers are hard to please. But when their meals are on the line, expectations get higher and patience wears thin.

We found that only 24% of restaurants were able to nail perfect CSATs across the entire customer journey. Additionally, only 29% of overall interactions were rated as “Very Satisfying.”

These findings underscore the difficulty of creating a flawless customer journey in the digital QSR space. It’s no secret that major restaurant brands are facing an uphill battle as the pandemic rambles on and consumers must rely more heavily on online ordering. Although a handful of brands have aced it – a list of them is available in the report – the majority are still figuring out a sustainable digital strategy. And in the meantime, their customers are left hanging and hangry!

Great customer service increases loyalty and repurchase rates for restaurants, even when the ordering experience is not so hot.

In this study, in cases where the ordering experience was sub-par (Very Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, or Neutral) and the customer support experience was good (Satisfied or Very Satisfied), the overall satisfaction and repurchase rates went up.

90% of consumers who had a poor ordering experience still increased their likelihood of repurchasing from the company after a good customer service interaction.

It seems as though a simple positive customer support interaction has the ability to shoulder the headaches that come with poor UX, third-party delivery fails, or technical errors. 

Let’s be real: mishaps are inevitable in the food business, especially when so many third-party factors are at play. Thankfully, stellar customer service is the antidote to unavoidable blunders. 

The days of customer service being a “cost center” are long gone. What we’ve always known as key ingredients for CX success  – a personal touch,empathy, the speedy resolutions – remains true in the digital space. Amazing customer support will always generate (not gobble up!) revenue for a business. 

Refunds + empathy = more long-term revenue. 

Order errors may be a mainstay of the restaurant industry, but when it comes to online service, rectifying an issue isn’t as simple as asking, “May I talk to your manager?”

Knowing that customer service was a determining factor of overall satisfaction, we dug a little deeper. In instances where a food order was incorrect, customer service that delivered a blend of empathy and refunds could increase the likelihood of repurchase. In fact, 80% of customers felt “better” about their overall experience when the company issued an instant refund or restaurant credit.

Give customers what they crave: NOW CX! 

If you aren’t taking a NOW CX approach to in-app customer support, you’re missing out on critical opportunities to build loyalty, revenue, and wallet share. In an industry where loyalty is everything, prioritizing customer experience should be a no-brainer.

As we’ve seen in this study, serving up  great customer experiences goes a long way… And may actually cover up other shortfalls that happen during the customer journey. Download today!