FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated leaders at QSR Automations Inc., a technology developer for the restaurant and hospitality industries, on the opening of the company’s new global headquarters and tech campus, an approximately $10 million investment that will create 30 new jobs and relocate 130 employees previously based across multiple facilities.
“Food, beverage and agritech-related companies have been locating and expanding in Kentucky at an impressive rate,” Gov. Beshear said. “I want to congratulate QSR Automations on the opening of this headquarters expansion and relocation. The company is helping move the restaurant and hospitality industries forward and creating quality job opportunities for Kentuckians in the process.”
The new 37,000-square-foot operation located on more than 8 acres along Buddeke Drive completes the company’s move from a 12,000-square-foot facility in the Eastpoint Business Center. In 2019, QSR Automations completed work on a 20,000-square-foot technology center on the new campus to assemble computer components for its kitchen management systems. The operation accommodates continued development of the company’s ConnectSmart kitchen display systems for customers that include major restaurant chains such as KFC, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel and Outback Steakhouse. The project consolidates QSR Automations’ headquarters operations to one location.
“In the last 25 years, QSR Automations has seen tremendous growth, not only within our company but also as we have claimed our position as the leader in restaurant technology,” said Angela Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “Opening this facility marks a critical milestone for our company’s history, but also our future as we continue creating smart solutions and adaptable technology for restaurant operators, employees and dining guests.”
QSR Automations, founded in 1996, also maintains offices in London, England, and provides global restaurant technology with its data-driven operational platform, ConnectSmart. The platform assists customers to improve the dining experience with kitchen automation, guest management, off-premise technology and predictive analytics.
QSR Automations’ investment contributes to Kentucky’s rapidly expanding food, beverage and agritech sector, which includes more than 350 facilities and employs over 52,000 people. Since the start of 2020, roughly 70 new location and expansion projects within the industry are expected to create more than 2,000 full-time jobs with over $1.3 billion in new investments.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the company’s growth reflects the strength of the community’s food and beverage sector.
“Louisville’s strong reputation as a national leader for food and beverage headquarters and technology innovation makes Louisville the ideal place for QSR Automations to grow and service its clients nationwide,” Mayor Fischer said. “We have built an ecosystem of businesses that benefit from and strengthen the industry, ensuring that everything food and beverage companies need to succeed is here. QSR Automations remains a valuable part of that ecosystem by providing technology solutions to food service businesses. We are excited to celebrate their expansion!”
QSR Innovations’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger in response to the effects of the pandemic.
Last week Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
This year alone, the Governor has announced over $8.7 billion in total planned investment and 11,700 full-time jobs in private sector new-location and expansion projects across the coming years. Through July, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage was $23.47 before benefits, a 6.2% increase over the previous year.
In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.
In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.
Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October 2014 approved QSR Automations for up to $250,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, QSR Automations can receive resources from Kentucky workforce service providers. Companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on QSR Automations, visit QSRAutomations.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed here.
More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at AgriTech.ky.gov.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.