Consumer, Strategy

The Future of Dining: Insights from The Restaurant Experience Reset Webinar

PUBLISHED: 5/31/2023

Restaurant Experience Reset Webinar


For scores of individuals and businesses across the country, the last few years have felt akin to riding an economic rollercoaster, resulting in a sizable shift in consumer habits. And with those changing habits, the food service industry has found itself in the midst of a “Restaurant Experience Reset,” entering a new era that is laser-focused on adapting for customer experience.

To find out how today’s top brands are navigating these changing times, MERGE assembled an expert panel of industry veterans who took the time to weigh in on the transformation, and offer their opinion on which restaurant models and approaches will keep hold, and which ones could lose relevance over time.

Our panelists include:

  • Cindy Syracuse, CMO, BurgerFi and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings
  • Shannon Stowers, VP Marketing, Media, and Social Media, Subway
  • Bronze Major, Head of Marketing, Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Nicole Turner, EVP of Client Service, MERGE

Key themes featured during the panel discussion include:

  • Physical locations are getting smaller, particularly in quick service restaurants (QSRs), where many brands are electing to optimize for drive-thru, takeout, and/or delivery. Will this downsizing trend continue? And how does it impact a brand’s ability to tell a story, and engage customers?
  • Apps are now table stakes, and customers have come to expect them from restaurant brands. But will apps become a primary ordering and engagement tool for restaurants moving forward, and what are customers seeking from an app experience?
  • Use of third-party delivery services (3POs) has exploded in recent years, but there have been some pain points as restaurants wrestle with customer service challenges and fee structure. How can restaurant brands better partner with 3POs to deliver a quality brand experience? If 3PO is here to stay, what does the customer expect from the third-party experience?
  • Scannable technology, and QR codes in particular, has experienced quite the renaissance of late, not only enabling customers to conduct touchless ordering, but also access to things such as loyalty programs, locations, and extended content. How will this continue to evolve to offer customers more seamless engagements with brands?

Tune in to the on-demand webinar to access every second of insight from our expert panel discussion.