Tech in Fast Food: A Product Manager’s Guide to Enhancing User Experience

The fast-food industry is a prime example of how technology can revolutionize customer experiences. At Virtual Next, we lead this revolution with our app-free loyalty and gift card platform. Our technology strategy, adopted by brands such as the 100+ fast-food chain New York Fries through their Fry Society loyalty program, exemplifies seamless integration of technology in consumer interactions.

Our technology’s core is the app-free digital card system, compatible with Apple Wallet and Google Wallet. This approach to engaging fast-food customers eliminates the need for additional app downloads, a significant barrier in sectors where frequent app-based customer engagement is impractical. Our technology simplifies loyalty program management, making it an ideal choice for businesses seeking customer-centric solutions.

Product Management in Fast Food Tech

Let’s examine how we decided to remove the app from the user journey in a fast-food loyalty program.

Our founder, a product manager in the technology sector, understands that product management is crucial in fast-food technology. Product managers continuously work to integrate technology that enhances and simplifies the customer journey. Their role combines technical expertise and a deep understanding of customer needs, ensuring that the adopted technology not only meets but also exceeds customer expectations.

To build an exceptional customer journey, or to excel as a product manager in any industry, including fast food, mastering the use of technology to improve customer experiences is vital. A practical approach to developing these skills involves working in product management roles and learning from real-world challenges. Furthermore, understanding how product managers are evaluated during interviews can offer insights into the necessary skills and competencies. For instance, examining a list of product manager interview questions reveals that most questions aim to assess a candidate’s ability to recognize the core value of new technology and integrate it into a customer experience in a way that enhances their engagement with a product or brand.

If you are a fast-food chain considering technology to grow your business, approach the problem as a product manager.

How to Make the Fast-Food Experience Better Using Product Management

To enhance the fast-food experience through product management, focus on initiatives that improve customer experience. Understand customer needs and leverage technology to solve them when possible. Utilize data-driven insights for personalized offers and menu optimization. Foster a culture of continuous improvement, regularly seeking customer feedback to enhance their experiences.

Here is a step-by-step guide to improve your fast-food experience:

Step 1: Understand Customer Needs

Begin with market research to understand what customers value in a fast-food experience, particularly in the context of your business. Consider factors like food quality, health, cleanliness, ingredients, speed, convenience, and payment methods.

Step 2: Prioritize Problems
Prioritize identified user needs and pain points based on the severity of the pain and the impact on your business. Focus on addressing the highest priority issues.

Step 3: Implement Solutions
Develop user-friendly solutions that address the identified problems. Given long-term technology trends, consider including solutions such as mobile ordering, digital payments, and loyalty programs. Prioritize user-friendly interfaces and seamless integration.

Step 4: Streamline Operations

Apply product management principles to streamline kitchen and counter operations. Efficiency in these areas directly translates to faster service and improved customer satisfaction.

Step 5: Personalize Customer Experience

Implement data-driven strategies to offer personalized customer experiences. Use customer data to provide tailored recommendations and promotions through your digital loyalty programs.

Step 6: Implement a Process for Continuous Feedback

Develop a process to continuously receive and act on customer feedback. Use this information to make iterative improvements in service, menu options, and technology features.

Step 7: Train Your Team

Ensure your staff is well-trained and knowledgeable about both your food and technology offerings. This may require ongoing training for the staff.


As technology continues to shape the fast-food industry, the principles of product management become increasingly relevant in driving sales and enhancing user experiences. Embracing these principles is crucial for success in any fast-paced, consumer-focused industry.

To learn more about how we can help you improve your fast food customer experience, visit our website.

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