Blog | Phil Voelker
June 9, 2021

Fast-Food Ads Get Faster Service

“Getting the order right” – it’s job one for every quick-service restaurant (QSR), no matter if the order is coming from the front counter, an app or service, or the drive-thru window – and no order is the same. The end results might be different on every order, but some things have got to be there every time to keep customers coming back. Every order has to be served accurately, on-time, and in the highest quality. Hmm….where’s the advertising analogy here?  



“There’s a clear parallel between how a quick-service restaurant serves consumers and how today’s advertising technology needs to work,” explains Simon Morris, Head of Enterprise Sales, for Comcast Technology Solutions’ Advertising Suite. “It’s oversimplifying a bit, but orders get placed and then ad content, selected from a current menu of options, fills each order based on instructions – which are different based on the unique needs of each destination.” 

Many of the ads are served “right off the menu,” so to speak, transcoded and delivered in the right format for every platform, destination, device. Others are much more specific, incorporating  changes to meet the needs of a certain region, market demographic, menu item, promotion – whatever a campaign needs. “QSRs are like other businesses in that they’ve been managing interconnected creative needs like this for a long time,” explains Morris, “but there’s traditionally been a lot of manual processes, spreadsheets, emails – all of these factors slow reaction time and make it really difficult-to-impossible to compete in a fast moving market.” 



QSR brands that advertise at scale aren’t just sending ads that play on time; they’re also launching experiences that are more highly targeted and more interactive every year, which is an important technical consideration. Real-time ad technology is crucial in order to build loyalty that improves per-customer sales in a competitive field that’s increasingly super-sized. Disruptive competition hasn’t missed the QSR industry, as local pop-up businesses and food trucks gain followers on social media. Advanced advertising techniques and technology are a prerequisite to create engagement and maintain connection, driving traffic to apps and experiences which, in turn, expand profitability from single locations on up to the entire organization.  



Top-shelf ad creative is expensive to produce, and often has a completely unknown shelf-life. Complex organizations like QSRs need to extract every ounce of value from each creative effort by leveraging it for a multitude of specialized ads. Just like the specialized team members who assemble a food order, the best thing you can do is make it easier for them to do what they do best.  

“The technical issue to solve for was really just to help people get out of each others’ way and share more effectively,” explains Morris. “The architecture is similar for all kinds of businesses: Where an auto manufacturer might be sharing footage of an SUV to dealer networks for their ads, a QSR’s operation would be able to build custom ads around menu items, localized offers, you name it. It’s just about putting the emphasis back on making everything the best it can be.” 

Throughout the history of the QSR industry there is an innovation narrative; a deep focus on improving the value and quality of relationships from dining experiences to workplace efficiencies. 2020 was a watershed year for society as a whole; but for QSRs looking to the rest of the decade and beyond, it was a harbinger of just how fast even the most predictable markets can shift. QSR advertisers, as the ones who tell the story, are adopting these new technologies not just to serve ads more effectively, but to serve people more meaningfully – at scale.  



Download this new article to learn more about three primary ways advertisers can improve campaign performance: 
QSR eBook

  • How a centralized, unified platform where media and creative converge into a singular view gives QSR operations total control of their video and radio creative management. 

  • How brands can more effectively share creative and collaborate internally across an extended, diverse organization by creating a portal that gives all constituents the ability to quickly locate, select, and manipulate media files for use in local/regional ad creation 

  • How a fully automated ad management platform sets the brand up for success both now as well as in the future, laying the groundwork for creative and production optimization techniques and efforts that improve the ability to connect consumers with more appealing content – resulting in campaigns that drive more people through the doors.  

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