Franchising World

By Tim Arpin, Scooter’s Coffee


Quick-service restaurant (QSR) franchises are expected to see a growth of 2.5 percent this year, according to the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) annual Economic Outlook Report — making them one of the biggest movers for 2023. So, with more growth on the horizon, what trends can franchisees in the food and beverage industry expect to see?

Food and Drinks Need to be Social Media Worthy

If you search #food on Instagram, you’ll find a whopping 513 million posts. From there, you’ll see a melting pot of content, including recipes, photos and mukbang (eating show) videos. With cell phones able to capture high-quality media, customers can become the biggest marketers for restaurants. When the menu items look delicious, a social post can get people talking and entice new customers to stop in.

Sustainability Matters

Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, recognizing the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet. They’re pushing food and beverage franchise brands towards using sustainable practices to combat climate change, protect natural resources, and ensure a healthier future for everyone. A recent survey shows that 43 percent of consumers are willing to spend more money at eateries that are clearly taking sustainability seriously.

Technology Contributes to Consumer Experience

The food industry was able to adapt so quickly during the pandemic because most brands already had a mobile app in place. This early adoption of technology helped streamline food ordering, customization, and delivery, which made the dining experience more convenient and personalized for customers. With AI-driven recommendations, mobile ordering, and contactless payments, food and beverage franchises are able to meet customers where they are.

Drive-Thru Remains Popular

During the pandemic, the already prevalent drive-thru experienced quite a boost. Since the CDC’s restrictions forced people to remain socially distant, many QSR franchises — like Scooter’s Coffee — were able to thrive because they already had a fast and efficient drive-thru in place. And demand continues to grow even post-pandemic. According to QSR magazine, two-thirds of restaurants that don’t currently have drive-thrus plan on building one into their business model over the next few years. Scooter’s Coffee has a clear understanding their model advantage and builds standalone drivethru kiosks, exclusively. The compact model allows owners to save on startup, payroll, and maintenance costs, unlike a traditional coffeehouse location.

Customers tend to favor the drivethru because of its simplicity. Patrons are able to choose what they want from a streamlined menu of options without even having to step out of their vehicles. Plus, with so many brands using mobile apps, customers can order from their phones and pick up in the drive-thru.

The biggest priority for the food and beverage purveyors is to make sure they’re easily accessible to customers — and that they’re paying attention to their demands.

 The biggest priority for the food and beverage purveyors is to make sure they’re easily accessible to customers — and that they’re paying attention to their demands. Brands must take the time to learn what’s most important to their customer base. Then, they need to show they’re actually listening.


Tim Arpin is the chief sales officer of Scooter’s Coffee. He has more than 10 years of experience in the franchise industry and brings a fresh approach to franchise recruitment, market strategy and sales management. Previously Vice President of Franchise Sales at Scooter’s Coffee, Arpin led recruitment and development initiatives to help grow the franchise brand. Most recently, he was vice president of franchise development for ServiceMaster Brands, where he created an end-to-end franchise development division. He also held executive leadership positions for high-growth franchise brands such as Restaurant Brands International, Steam Global Services and Self Esteem Brands, which includes approximately 4,300 Anytime Fitness locations. For more information about IFA franchisor member Scooter’s Coffee, please visit franchise.org/franchiseopportunities/scooters-coffee.