Fast Food & Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Design and Remodeling: 5 Construction Considerations

June 30, 2024

Cafe Zuppas (10)

The number of QSRs in the United States has been rising for the past five years. Today, it’s on track to pass 200,000 for the first time in history. At the same time, the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that, while customers generally rate their experience in QSRs high, they are relatively less satisfied with the layout and cleanliness of these establishments.

So, whether it’s a matter of appealing to customers in a crowded market or improving a weak spot in customer experience, now is an excellent time to build a better QSR operation. With an experienced fast food remodel company like Diversified as your partner, the renovation possibilities are practically infinite. All that an owner need do is narrow down which improvements to focus their time and budget on.

To help with that process, here are 5 QSR renovation ideas worth considering.

Smaller Kitchens

Menu simplification and kitchen automation have both been popular trends in recent years. Together, these factors have left some restaurants with wasted space in their kitchens.

Renovation is the best way to recover that space and make it productive again. Renovation is also a flexible process, allowing each business to choose what to adapt the newly freed space for. For example:

  • If better customer experience is the target, the space can be used to enlarge the dining room or create a dedicated digital self-serve kiosk area.
  • If operational improvement is the target, the space can be used to expand critical storage.
  • Finally, if attracting and retaining employees is the target, the space can be used to design a better breakroom or provide a new perk, such as an employee shower.
Agra Culture 2014

Clean Design

Even if a restaurant has been scrubbed and sterilized from top to bottom, that doesn’t guarantee it gives the impression of ‘clean’ to customers. That’s a problem, considering a 2015 Cintas survey showed 85% of people would not visit a business with negative reviews about its cleanliness. It’s hard to imagine that that number has gone anywhere but up in the years since.

Outdated, worn, and damaged elements are more likely to look dirty even when clean. This is true for counters, flooring, wall coverings, lighting, exterior cladding, and more. When planning your remodel, ask your fast food remodel firm to help you look critically at every aspect of your establishment. They’ll have the materials knowledge and design expertise to plan an interior that is not only easy to clean, but conveys ‘clean’ to visitors for years to come.

Updated Drive-Thru

No one really talks about a good drive-thru experience. However, you can bet they talk about a bad one. Chaotic traffic flow, broken screens and windows, and sketchy blind corners can all deter customers from choosing a given establishment.

Fortunately, an experienced QSR remodeler will know how to fix these problems. Redesigning order lanes, installing new lights and order windows, and even building a covered area to shelter customers, staff, and food can all go a long way towards cultivating a better customer experience.

McDonalds (7)

Dedicated Pick-Up Parking

During the pandemic, many QSR operations had to slap together a parking solution for the increase in pick-up orders. As clunky as these expedient designs tended to be, they’ve proven popular with customers even as pandemic conditions have waned.

For QSR owners who have delayed making this upgrade, a renovation is the perfect opportunity to do so. Designing order pick-up parking is usually a relatively simple change, but it can have a substantially positive impact.

Online Order Pick-up Area

Building off the idea of dedicated pick-up parking, consider adding a designated pick-up area within your restaurant as well. This can be a shelf, counter, or other exclusive-use area that’s easy for visitors to identify and access. That ‘easy to identify and access’ part is critical. That way, this improvement can keep pick-up traffic moving efficiently, while also reducing interruptions to staff who are performing business-critical tasks.

Choose Diversified Construction for your QSR Remodel

Whether you’re inspired by one of these ideas, or you have a vision all your own, we’re the firm that can make your transformation happen. Since 1966, Diversified has helped a multitude of restaurants across the Twin Cities reimagine the possibilities for their space. Why not explore what’s possible for your establishment? Contact us today!

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