QsrSoft Helps McDonald’s and Other Restaurants Engage Employees Using QsrSoft TV Developed on AWS
Software provider QsrSoft wanted to support its customers in the restaurant and hospitality industries by addressing labor shortages and employee turnover through development of its new product, QsrSoft TV, an interactive solution that helps restaurants engage with their employees, communicate with staff, and work toward common objectives in near real time. To improve its product, the company wanted to provide more customizable features and accelerate time to market.
QsrSoft collaborated alongside Amazon Web Services (AWS) to rethink its QsrSoft TV solution, using services like AWS Amplify—a set of purpose-built tools and features that helps front-end web and mobile developers quickly and easily build full-stack serverless applications on AWS. Within 3 months, and with a team of two engineers, the company launched the new QsrSoft TV solution as an application that is available on Amazon Fire TV Sticks and added additional components, such as gamification, automated alerts, and instant messaging. Since making these changes, the company has implemented QsrSoft TV at several restaurant and hospitality businesses, including McDonald’s.
We can think bigger and more creatively working on AWS. We have a much better product because of our ability to innovate.”
Director of Development, QsrSoft
Using “Working Backwards” to Accelerate Its Product Development on AWS
QsrSoft designs software and applications that provide back-office support, promote operational excellence, and simplify reporting and analytics for businesses within the hospitality, restaurant, and retail industries. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company realized that its customers were facing challenges in retaining and motivating their workforces, and it wanted to provide resources that would help fill this gap. One of the company’s legacy solutions was a restaurant dashboard, a digital solution that facilitates locational and company-wide messaging across the front lines in near real time. “We knew that we wanted to evolve that tool to be something greater than it was,” says John Witherspoon, product lead at QsrSoft. “Through our conversations with restaurant operators, we knew that there was a high level of interest.”
QsrSoft started using AWS in 2015, and over time, the company has gained tremendous confidence in using AWS services while realizing a massive growth in its customer base. “QsrSoft couldn’t be happier using AWS,” says Tim Burge, chief executive officer at QsrSoft. “We went all in on the cloud as a part of our growth strategy, and it has truly paid off. We’ve cut compute costs and have been quicker to market, and we can respond to customer requests much more rapidly.” From that point, the company decided to go all in on AWS, using serverless solutions to quickly launch new products. While reinventing its restaurant dashboard into QsrSoft TV, the company adopted the “Working Backwards” mechanism, an Amazon process that encourages companies to brainstorm solutions by using a customer challenge as the starting point. Companies identify their customers’ needs and then work backward to create new products and services.
Simplifying Setup and Increasing Customer Satisfaction
While adopting the “Working Backwards” mechanism, QsrSoft reimagined its product using Amazon Fire TV Sticks, which are all-in-one remotes that are compatible with high-definition TVs. “Using Amazon Fire TV Sticks contributes massively to our low barrier to entry and frictionless experience,” says Witherspoon. “It’s a plug-and-play scenario and an affordable device.” Now, it takes restaurants only 3 minutes to configure a QsrSoft TV.
QsrSoft also decided to take a serverless approach to drive agility and increase cost savings, and it chose to use AWS Amplify for application development. The company built a serverless architecture using AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service that helps developers run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. It also adopted AWS AppSync, a fully managed service that makes it easy to develop GraphQL APIs by handling the heavy lifting of securely connecting to data sources like AWS Lambda and other AWS services. To deliver its QsrSoft TV application to restaurants, it uses AWS Amplify Hosting, which provides fast, secure, and reliable hosting for modern web apps, powered by AWS Amplify.
By going serverless on AWS, QsrSoft’s development team can focus on high-value tasks and brainstorm new ways to add value to the company’s products and services. With a scalable, fully serverless application stack, the company can deliver QsrSoft TV to customers without extensive preparation or managing infrastructure. In the first week of rolling out its new solution, QsrSoft onboarded 100 locations, and within 6 months, it onboarded over 1,000 locations. “We can think bigger and more creatively working on AWS,” says Adam Pehas, director of development at QsrSoft. “We have a much better product because of our ability to innovate.”
QsrSoft also uses Amazon DynamoDB—a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at virtually any scale. Using AWS Amplify and Amazon DynamoDB, the company has built a continuous integration and continuous deployment pipeline, automating steps in its software delivery process. With this pipeline in place, its developers have added features, such as gamification, automated alerts, and instant messaging. Because near-real-time messaging is at the core of its new solution, QsrSoft’s customers can immediately communicate important goals to team members. Additionally, going serverless has helped the company deliver new updates to customers even faster than before. “We will hear from customers about capabilities or features that they want to use in the field,” says Pehas. “Oftentimes, we’ve pushed that update or feature out by the end of the same business day.”
With the rollout of new features, QsrSoft has seen significant levels of customer satisfaction. Many restaurants have adopted this solution, and some have experienced a significant reduction in employee turnover. Some of its customers have also seen up to a 25 percent improvement in key performance areas, such as sales and service times. One McDonald’s franchisee, for instance, has seen an increase of over 1,100 percent in funds raised for its Ronald McDonald House Charities using QsrSoft TV’s gamification features. Moreover, QsrSoft designed its QsrSoft TV solution to be fully customizable, meaning that businesses can adjust the functionalities based on their specific needs. “Using QsrSoft TV lets our customers gamify and communicate throughout their organizations, which increases throughput, sales, and profitability,” says Tammy Johnston, deployment lead of QsrSoft TV at QsrSoft. “Our customers reach out and tell us their successes, which in turn are our successes.”
Expanding Its Footprint on AWS to Deliver Immediate Updates
Currently, QsrSoft is working on adding more channels and streaming content on its QsrSoft TV. The company also plans to expand its footprint on AWS and continue to iterate new versions and updates for QsrSoft TV. “QsrSoft is an organization that prides itself on gathering customer feedback and delivering immediate enhancements and features,” says Witherspoon. “We’re nimble and can anticipate a lot of our customers’ needs because of the architecture that we have built on AWS.”
Founded in 2004, QsrSoft designs software and applications that provide back-office support, promote operational excellence, and simplify reporting. It serves businesses of all sizes within the hospitality, restaurant, and retail industries.
Benefits of AWS
- Redesigned QsrSoft TV in only 3 months with a team of two developers
- Onboarded 100 locations within 1 week
- Onboarded over 1,000 locations within 6 months
- Added gamification, automatic alerts, and instant messaging
- Decreased time spent configuring QsrSoft TV to 3 minutes
- Built a CI/CD pipeline, freeing up time for developers to focus on high-value tasks
- Increased customer satisfaction
AWS Services Used
AWS Amplify is a set of purpose-built tools and features that lets frontend web and mobile developers quickly and easily build full-stack applications on AWS, with the flexibility to leverage the breadth of AWS services as your use cases evolve.
AWS AppSync is a fully managed service that makes it easy to develop GraphQL APIs by handling the heavy lifting of securely connecting to data sources like AWS DynamoDB, Lambda, and more.
Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at any scale.
AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers.
Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.