If your business is like most quick-service restaurants, then you understand the importance of providing your customers with an excellent menu and speedy customer service. But as more QSRs aim to provide customers with an unforgettable experience, many restauranteurs are struggling to set themselves apart from the crowd.

Distinguishing your brand from the rest means providing a thoughtful customer experience that engages all of the senses while mirroring your unique brand values in every respect. We refer to this approach as experience design.

Executed with purpose, a sound experience design strategy is the factor that drives customers through your doors time and time again. The good news here is that crafting a strong experience design plan isn’t complicated – it simply requires a strong emphasis on the reinforcement of your brand’s core values and a keen eye for detail. In this article, we’ll outline some helpful tips for developing an engaging multi-sensory approach that will establish a lasting customer connection for years to come.


In QSR, experience design is more concerned with feel, rather than touch. Building your strategy from scratch, you’ll want to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself, “How does this restaurant make our customers feel when they walk in?” Do they feel energized? Comfortable? Welcomed? Overwhelmed? Your first order of operation is to determine what your customers are currently gaining from their experience in your space and what might be turning them off – beginning with a review of your in-store music.

For years we’ve known that in-store music has a substantial influence on purchase decisions and brand loyalty, so don’t think of your soundtrack as simple background noise. The reality is that music is one of the best ways to connect with your customers on a personal level, expressing an inviting feel throughout your restaurant that is sure to bring them back.

That said, the music you decide to play in your dining room should be a balance of two crucial factors: brand image and customer preferences. While it’s important to provide tunes that your target customer enjoys, it is absolutely essential to make sure that the music accurately expresses the emotions and story behind your brand. Make the effort to strike a balance between the two.


The aesthetic appeal of your dining room is also a considerable element of your experience design strategy – and when it comes to QSR, digital signage is king. From digital menu boards to branded television programming, the right visuals will capture your customers’ attention and bring your brand to life. With digital signage systems, you can customize the displays to match the colors of your brand and give your dining room some real “pop” – all while driving sales for maximum ROI.


Though it may seem counter-intuitive in the QSR environment, the sense of smell is a powerful tool – and it is often underused in QSRs. Think of the last time you were drifting through the mall – did the smell of cinnamon rolls or hot pretzels make you pause? If so, then you’re already familiar with the irresistible power of smell.

By emphasizing the scents which motivate your customers, you can stimulate sales of specific items, inspire larger overall purchases, and make customers feel more at home.

QSR Success With Experience Design


So you have the systems in place to enrich your customer experience with brand-centric music and captivating visuals – but how will these sense factors actually sound? Be sure to consider the quality of your current audio-visual equipment, as your speakers are what drive home the true sound of your brand. A professionally designed and installed sound system is simply the way to go in any business setting.

If you’re looking to distinguish yourself from the rest of the QSRs, a thoughtfully crafted approach to experience design is your one-way ticket to the heart of your customer. Using a holistic approach that strategically engages multiple senses you can drive sales and bring customers through your doors time and time again.

To learn more about maximizing sales with a multi-sensory experience design strategy, contact the experts at Mood Media today. As the global leader in audio, visual, and marketing solutions for QSR, we’ll help you discover the ways you can drive sales, build lasting brand loyalty, and set the right mood – from the start.