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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.


Front-of-house Software to Benefit from Rise in Online Food Ordering

The software segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 9.9% over the period between 2016 and 2024. Usage of IT solutions for operations such as inventory management, franchise management, human resources management, data analytics, marketing, and customer support is becoming a norm for QSRs in the U.S.

In the next few years, the front-of-house segment, which includes solutions supporting online/mobile ordering will emerge as a key revenue generator in the U.S. QSR IT market. The sub segment of mobile ordering will witness the fastest growth owing to the mounting usage of smartphones in the country; the mobile ordering segment will expand at a CAGR of 10.8% from 2016 to 2024.

Cost-sensitive Small-sized QSRs Drive Demand for Economic Solutions

The market features a high level of fragmentation and intense competitive rivalry. In 2015, the top five companies accounted for a share of mere 25% in the overall market. The presence of a large number of software providers in the market has positioned buyers at a commanding position. However, base installation costs, post installation maintenance costs, high costs of hardware products, and upgradation costs still make digitization a costly affair and hinders its expansion across small-sized QSRs in the U.S.

To overcome this challenge and expand their consumer base, vendors in the market are focusing on offering economic and customizable solutions that can make use of pre-existing IT infrastructure. Cloud-based solutions and extended financing and warranty options in collaboration with financial institutions are also being offered by a large number of companies in the market to appeal to this group of end user.

Some of the prominent vendors in the market are NCR Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, HM Electronics, Inc., PAR Technology Corporation, NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., Oracle Corporation, and Revel Systems, Inc.

The increasing competition and adoption of new technological solutions such data analytics (in front and backend operation) and mobile devices is expected to drive the growth of the U.S. quick service restaurant (QSR) IT market in near future. QSRs are expected to heavily invest in software based solution in order to increase customer footprint and thereby drive sales revenue. Many QSRs are expected to replace their older kiosk and signage solutions which would drive the market growth in the hardware segment. Furthermore, up-gradation and introduction of new software to restructure daily business operations is expected to drive the market for software and service segment. The U.S. QSR IT market comprises different hardware components, supporting IT, and services such as network security and cloud based services. The QSR market by hardware component is classified into five major segments: signage systems, kiosks, point of sales, handheld devices, and digital menu cards. The software segment is further categorized as front of house, inventory management, reconciliation, labor management, HR software, data analytics, marketing, restaurant operation, support operation and franchise management. These software segment are further categorized as per the software used in the QSR industry. Digital signage is expected to be the largest revenue contributor in the hardware segment owing to high initial cost as compared to other hardware and increasing usage in signage system and drive through terminal segment. The front of house software segment is expected to contribute largest market share within the QSR software market, since it accounts majority for payment and point of sale solution software.

As customers are increasingly using social and digital media as part of their lifestyle, quick service restaurants have been promptly recognizing the need for digital and social media as medium of interaction to reach wide audience and improve their marketing. Moreover, many customers prefer QSRs with self-service options, such as kiosk systems, as it reduces the waiting time. Thus, with changing customer preference for convenient and quick services, the QSR industry players need to adapt in order to avoid losing their customers to competitors. Subsequently, as the QSR industry moves toward digital technology and business intelligence solutions, the demand for POS, kiosks, handheld devices, signage systems, digital menu cards, IT (data analytics, marketing and front of house) is expected to expand significantly.

Furthermore, the report analyzes the factors that drive and restrain the growth of the quick service restaurant IT market in the U.S. The report also discusses the prevailing market trends, prospective growth opportunities, and major strategies increasing the trend of technology adoption in the quick service restaurant market. Also provided is the market positioning analysis for hardware and software vendors, and competitive strategies adopted by key players in the U.S. quick service restaurant market. Furthermore, the report also provides price trend analysis for purchase and annual maintenance cost of software segmentation for the period 2014 to 2024.

Major business strategies adopted by key players, their market positioning, and product offerings have also been identified in the research report. The prominent manufacturers who offer quick service restaurant solutions or hardware include Panasonic Corporation, NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc., LG Display Co. Ltd., Oracle Corporation, VeriFone Systems, Inc., NCR Corporation, PAR Technology Corporation, Revel Systems, Inc., HM Electronics, Inc. and Delphi Display Systems Inc.

The U.S. quick service restaurant (QSR) IT market is segmented as below:

U.S. Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) IT Market

By Hardware

  • Signage System
  • Kiosks
  • Drive Through Terminals
  • Point-of-Sale
  • Handheld Device
  • Digital Menu Card

By Software

  • Front of House
  • Inventory Management
  • Reconciliation
  • Labor Management
  • HR Software
  • Data Analytics
  • Marketing
  • Restaurant Operation
  • Support Operation
  • Franchise Management

By Services (Network Service and Cloud Solution)

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