Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) IT Market: Handheld Devices to Lead as their Use in Daily Operations Rise

The U.S. market for quick service restaurant is witnessing a rapid digital transformation. Technological advancements are making inroads in the restaurant industry in the U.S., with restaurateurs increasingly integrating tech gadgets in the internal systems to monitor, control, and undertake a number of core operations.

The use of electronic gadgets and systems in the quick service restaurant industry, where timely delivery of orders forms the core of success and good relations with customers, has demonstrated excellent improvements in delivery times and revenues. Tech savvy consumers are also favoring places that are capable of linking the technologies they use to ensure quicker delivery of meals and bill payments.

Realization of such manifold benefits of technological intervention in the U.S. QSR IT market will prompt a large number of restaurant owners to allocate a larger share of their budgets for technology in the next few years. Transparency Market Research estimates that the U.S. quick service restaurants IT market will expand at a healthy CAGR of 7.4% over the period between 2016 and 2024. The market, which had a valuation of US$ 3,208.76 mn in 2015, will rise to a valuation of US$ 6,221.37 mn by 2024.

Handheld Devices to Lead as their Use in Daily Operations Rise

Of the three key components of a typical IT solution for QSRs, the hardware segment is the largest contributor to the overall revenue of the U.S. QSR IT market. The segment contributed about US$ 1,994.64 mn to the market’s overall revenues in 2015. Products such as digital signage systems, point of sale, digital menu cards, handheld devices, kiosks, and drive-through terminals come under the purview of this segment. Of these, the segment of digital signage systems accounted for a nearly 34% share in the market in 2015, followed by the segment of point of sale hardware with a 21% share. The high initial costs of digital signage contributed prominently to the growth in the market’s revenues owing to the increased adoption of these products.

However, the segment of handheld devices, which are being increasingly used across numerous operations in restaurants, is expected to witness growth at the fastest pace in the market. From 2016 to 2024, the segment is expected to expand at a 10.5% CAGR.

Rising Hourly Wages in the U.S. Trigger Adoption of QSR IT Solutions

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the average hourly earnings of people working in the food services industry has increased from nearly US$11.54 in 2010 to US$13.33 in 2016. This trend in salary inflations is a prominent factor compelling QSR owners in making the shift from manual operations to machine-based automatic operations. In the next few years, IT solutions that can replace the need for manual intervention in QSR operations, such as digital kiosks, tabletop e-waiters, digital checkout counters, and digital menu boards will gain increased adoption. Hand-held devices, especially, such as tablets and smartphones, will gain increasingly prominent positions in the future IT-enabled QSR infrastructures.

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Need for Speed in Consumer Services to Stimulate Demand

With a continuous rise in the numbers of quick service restaurants in the U.S., the competition has also soared. Hence, ways of delivering best-in-class services and meeting consumer expectations are being pursued. This has driven the increased adoption of digital channels for transacting in quick service restaurants in the past few years in the U.S. market. QSRs in the country are updating their internal systems to make meal orders and payments compatible with near field communication and mobile wallets. Contactless payment solutions, which can immensely help smoothen transactions, are increasingly being tested by payment solution providers for creating quick payment options.

In the next few years, the rising number of smartphones users in the country is expected to make smartphones the central point of contact with consumers for the QSR industry. Thus solutions enabling purchasing, ordering, and payment using smartphones will be the most promising revenue generators.

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Hardware Components to Contribute to Substantial Share in Revenue

In terms of component, the U.S. QSR IT market is ruled by the hardware segment, which contributed the key share in the market’s revenue in 2015, an estimated US$1.99 bn. However, the segment is expected to lose its attractiveness to the software segment, which is projected to rise at a high CAGR of 9.9% in the U.S. QSR IT market over the period between 2016 and 2024. The services segment will rise at more than 7% CAGR over the same period.

On a whole, the U.S. QSR IT market will exhibit a favorable 7.4% CAGR from 2016 to 2024. The market is expected to rise from a valuation of US$3.21 bn in 2015 to US$6.22 bn by 2024.

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