News & Views
Call us on 01908 889 500 or contact us below and we’ll be with you in no time!

I would like to receive interesting updates from time to time. Be the first to know, let’s get connected! 
I have read and agree to Celestra's privacy policy

* Mandatory fields

How is the fast food experience really changing?

Posted 05 August Allan Gallop

There are plenty of new concepts emerging into the UK Hospitality market. There are pop-up restaurants that serve only a vegan or gluten-free menu and now even Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are offering gourmet menus and table service.

Focusing on the future of fast food, the QSR industry itself has been subject to a lot of change in consumer tastes and trends. Subsequently, these changes are forcing even big brands to adapt both their products and their service delivery, whilst also competing with new rival restaurants at the same time.

Noticeably, the likes of McDonald’s and other QSR brands have been investing in their estate with an emphasis on enhancing their customer experience. McDonald’s especially have focused on their investment in technology. Including McDonald’s digital kiosk ordering, trialing their table service offerings and their new gourmet menu.

EotF 500th Go Live

McDonald’s tackle the increased number of Burger Restaurants entering the market by expanding their UK offering

Since 2000, the UK has seen the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Handmade Burger co and even Five Guys transform the burger dining experience. No longer are burgers deemed a fast food, but as a casual dining experience. Whilst the prices may be higher, you also get a lot of variety and a vast selection of hand-made burgers that you perhaps wouldn’t normally have the choice of. Ultimately, customers now have an increased level of expectation for a higher quality burger in a higher quality environment. It is this shift in customer trends that has caused the likes of McDonald’s to rethink their current menu offering and dining experience.

On top of their Experience of the Future enhancement to offer quicker and streamlined service options across their entire estate, McDonald’s has been trialing their “Signature Collection” menu. This premium burger brand is currently available in 60+ of their stores as part of a pilot scheme currently running to tackle the increased competition from premium burger restaurants. Whilst McDonald’s are still in the pilot stage of their new menu, its success has resulted in plans for more locations to serve their gourmet burgers.

McDonald's Signature Collection

What really is next?

It is hard to ignore the increased media coverage on healthy eating. From traffic light systems to help us make healthier choices to the introduction of “healthy fast food”. In 1997 London saw its very first Itsu, “a light, green and good for you” choice for Japanese cuisine. Then in 2204 saw the introduction of Leon on London’s trendy Carnaby Street.

Itsu, at the time saw a niche in the market for fast, easy and healthy Japanese food that didn’t cost the earth to make and buy. With their expansion across the South East, Itsu really are making headway with their offering and are looking for more exciting ways they can get their Japanese delights into the QSR market.


Another example is, Leon, who  pride themselves as providing food that both tastes good and does you good. They specialise in Mediterranean dishes that are quick and easy to make but that have all the goodness of native Mediterranean cooking. You can find a Leon restaurant in most major train stations across London and their tag line “Naturally Fast Food” has helped them drive forward in the QSR market.

Then we see the likes of Greggs, a favourite for sausage rolls and iced buns, are investing in their healthier options. They’ve seen how consumer tastes have changed and are even looking at providing allergen specific menus.Greggs

The Future… 

Whilst McDonald’s and other burger serving establishments move towards a casual dining experience, this has opened up the QSR market for healthier choices. And those healthier choices are also very tasty! The power of the menu is in the consumers’ hands and they have spoken.

On the other side, we will gradually see even more technological advances that are geared to improving the customer experience – keep posted with our next blog that will delve deeper into technological advances and what we expect to see over the next year in the QSR market.


Celestra You might also like to read


You might also like to read