February 2022

· 2 min read

Shaking Up Your Next Grab-and-Go Meal from Your Local Fast-Food Restaurant

Recent NSF survey results indicate that you may see changes at your local fast-food restaurant.
Young female friends have fun at a fast-food restaurant – How the Pandemic Impacted the QSR Industry | NSF

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When the pandemic shut down in-person dining, online ordering, fast food, drive-thrus and even drone deliveries made it easier than ever to get burgers, fries and your favorite culinary delights.

But behind the scenes, food-service operations were challenged as they’ve never been before.

Being an occasional fast-food eater myself, I investigated this issue and found some interesting information to share.

A recently released NSF survey suggests it’s time for a change in how quick-service restaurants (QSRs) move into 2022. The good news: You may notice some changes in how your food is delivered or picked up. The bad news: You may want to be a little more patient.

Here are a few examples of how the survey’s results may be influencing your local burger or sandwich restaurant.

  • Faster, faster. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed continue to feel pressured to serve food more quickly.
  • Where have all the employees gone? Nearly 90% of fast-food eateries say the pandemic has made recruiting and retaining workers tougher and wreaked havoc on training. It may take time to get your food your way; be patient.
  • Where’s the beef? International supply chain disruptions have restaurant owners scrambling more than eggs. You may notice menu changes or even different ingredients in your favorite meals.
  • Menu item shortage. Seven out of 10 people surveyed reported issues with unreliable food equipment, which directly affect the availability of certain menu items.

Considering the state of these quick-service restaurants, you may want to be more patient and understanding, just as you would be with your chef at home.

About the Survey

In 2021, NSF commissioned an independent study surveying a random sample of 680 quick-service restaurants workers and decision makers around the globe. The study identified concerns around food safety, recruitment, retention, team member training and the supply chain.

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