he quick service restaurant (QSR) industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic’s crippling challenges. The stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions have changed the industry as we know it. Technology has been a key enabler to keep the lights on for many businesses as brands pivot to digital in order to survive.
Amidst these challenging times, automation and efficiency are taking the limelight. Now more than ever, services provided by technology companies such as Fourth are becoming a necessity than just a mere nice-to-have.
Paul Tregoning, general manager at Fourth, says even in the light of challenges, the QSR sector has remained remarkably resilient. “We expect this trend to continue, with further growth from out of store channels continuing to be a bigger part of our partners’ businesses. At Fourth, we’re investing heavily into our QSR technologies, and partnering with industry leaders to shape the QSR technology of the future,” he adds.
According to Tregoning, the flexibility of QSR businesses is the biggest immediate challenge for managers as snap lockdowns persist across Asia Pacific. “Promoting this flexibility via efficient back-office systems is vitally important when safeguarding margins against food inflation, rising labour costs, and non-uniform demand,” he notes.
In this exclusive interview with QSR Media, Tregoning talks about how Fourth provides QSRs with much-needed technological capabilities that allow them to achieve efficiency and thrive despite the many obstacles they face, with or without a pandemic.
Please tell us about Fourth and the role it plays in the Quick Service Restaurant industry.
Fourth’s technologies enable success through modern, mobile applications that forecast needs, control food and labour costs, and drive consistent, predictable operations. Adopted by marquee brands around the world, the Fourth MacromatiX platform is built around a workflow application that helps managers stay on task, adapt to changing expectations, and never lose sight of their objectives.
Through centralised inventory & purchasing control measures, with accurate demand forecasting, QSR businesses can maintain compliance with your purchasing standards while meeting their profitability and customer service objectives.
How does Fourth help QSRs navigate these challenging times?
Fourth’s focus has always been on the hospitality sector. Our solutions such as MacromatiX, Logbook and Labour Productivity provide digital cloud-based solutions to manage and reduce cost and ensure compliance standards are upheld. Tracking, understanding, and making real-time decisions based on available data to reduce food and labour costs significantly benefits each restaurant and the brands overall profitability.
Add the ability to manage a tailored workflow that navigates to time critical to be addressed each day to meet compliance regulations is a game changer and provides assurance that all restaurants are operating within government standards.
What single goal are you most focused on this year?
We’re wholly focused on supporting our clients to meet the operational challenges they face. We’ve made great strides across all aspects of our platforms, from integrations to new feature, and performance improvements. This ongoing iterative improvement is at the core of everything we do.
Notable platform updates include our Fourth Analytics integration with our MacromatiX platform to further cement our position of supplying best-in-class back-office solutions for the hospitality sector by allowing managers to look at all aspects of their site performance from sales data to productivity metrics, at a site-by-site level across their portfolio.
What changes, if any, are you planning for?
Firstly, our primary focus is always our customers, we will continue to provide the same high standard of support, maintenance, and management to ensure our solutions are always operational so they can spend their time focusing on their own customers.
Secondly, we’re investing heavily in our product & engineering team bring new features and functionality to market at a level not seen before, we believe our products are already best in class, but we always strive for continued improvement and work with customers and potential customers to enhance our ongoing R&D roadmaps.
Lastly, we are also investing in our sales and marketing team so we can reach more customers to show how we can positively impact their business if they sign up to partner with Fourth.
What do you hope to achieve with Fourth?
Personally, I’m invested in our customers, our products, and our journey. My focus as General Manager of APAC is to ensure our standards are upheld for our customers, our product direction is fit for the local market and that our team scales to support our growing customer base in this region. We’re currently supporting more than 10,000 locations in APAC today from our offices in Sydney, Shanghai and with team members located in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand.