An appetite for change: the future of Quick Service Restaurants

Murillo Meireles explores the impact of the pandemic on the QSR industries and considers the new opportunities.

Murillo Meireles Lisboa

Planner Missouri Creative


The restaurant industry has been one of the most affected by the pandemic. With much of the world’s population told to stay at home to comply with social-distancing rules, once-bustling restaurants, and cafés have had to sit empty for the best part of the past 18 months.

However, a few QSR chains experienced heightened demand and hired thousands of workers – largely to them doing a good job at leveraging technology to tap into the delivery and takeaway channels more efficiently. In 2020, quick-service restaurants lost 24% of consumer spending, significantly less than the rest of the restaurant market at 38%. 

On top of that, the QSR sector is recovering considerably faster too. The home delivery segment of the market is expected to continue its growth trajectory because some changes in consumer behaviour brought about by the pandemic are here to stay. As normality edges closer, physical stores have a lot to look forward to.

In the UK, German Doner Kebab announced plans to open 49 outlets in 2021, doubling its presence in the country. The initial plan was to open 25 new sites but Imran Sayeed, CEO, said a pandemic-driven demand triggered a wider expansion. 

The list of QSRs announcing expansions also includes pizza chain Fireaway, aviation-themed fried chicken chain Wingstop and Wendy’s, which returns to the UK after having exited 20 years ago. 

Across Europe demand is being driven primarily by Gen Zers and younger Millennials looking for alternative types of fast food.

The opportunities these insights create will be the ingredients for success as QSR brands continue their recovery; from new product development to communications, from customer experience to the channels that are leveraged for engagement.


Joining Missouri five years ago, Murillo heads up the agency’s strategy department. Murillo is the mastermind behind building and developing client strategies, working closely with both the account and creative teams. His experience spans over multiple sectors, from F&B to education to sport. Murillo is also heavily involved in writing insights and trends reports, and is the primary copy writer for the agencies bi-annual publication, Show Me.

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