Drive-thru is back and better than ever! And it’s not just being used by fast-food companies. Fast-casual chains like Panera and Chipotle have also added drive-thru to select locations.
Why Customers Prefer Drive-Thru
COVID-19 may have scared Americans away from restaurants, but drive-thru is bringing them back. Many customers simply feel safer in their cars. “We’re seeing more and more guests wanting to dine off-premise, wanting to use drive-thrus, wanting to do takeaway,” says Josh Kobza. Kobza is the chief operating officer for Restaurant Brands International, the company that owns Burger King. In the words of one drive-thru customer, “I don’t have to have to go inside. I can just order and have a touchless exchange, ” says Allyson Alexander. Of course, many customers also choose drive-thru for the usual reasons—it’s fast and convenient.
The Drive-Thru of the Future
The drive-thru of the future will be faster and more seamless thanks to modern technology. Guests will be able to place a digital order from their mobile device and have it waiting for them when they arrive at the restaurant. Tim Young CEO of Eatsa says “With the right technology, drive-thru will become even more important than it is today. There is no question that consumers demand convenience, and with the increased appetite to order ahead, we expect a natural evolution of that pickup process.”
Joshua Liang, CEO of Ono Hawaiin BBQ, agrees adding that “Now that we’ve discovered the formula—limiting our drive-thru menus to feature only popular items with faster cook times—we are looking to build more drive-thrus in the future. With the advancements in technology, we are hoping to connect online ordering, pickup, delivery, and drive-thru into one seamless experience in the future.”
How the New Drive-Thru Works
Here’s how the latest evolution of drive-thru works at popular fast-food chains like Chick-fil-A. An order-taker walks through the line of cars, then another team member takes payment. Payments are then processed at outdoor cash register counters. This allows cars to move through the line twice as fast as they did at a traditional speaker box drive-thru. Jared Solid, who leads Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru innovation, calls this “face-to-face ordering.”
According to Solid “The drive-thru experience is all a game of seconds. It’s about putting the right people in the right places to shave off unnecessary time.” But that doesn’t mean speed alone is the key to success. Volume and the average number of orders drives revenue. Then there’s the customer service component. Data collected by the 2019 QSR Drive-Thru study found that these elements are essential for customer satisfaction.
- Order accuracy
- Eye contact
- Thank you
- Pleasant demeanor
- Says please
The Perfect Cash Register Counter: Our Deluxe Hostess Stand
Ready to add a drive-thru, or upgrade your current drive-thru system? Well, step one is getting the right cash register podiums. Our Deluxe Hostess Stand is durable mobile, stylish, easy to customize, and works great as a cash register counter. You can position it wherever you need it, no matter how many cars are in your drive-thru line. It’s also available with an optional sneeze guard to give guests more peace of mind. Call us today at 866-958-6972 and we’ll help you customize a new cash register counter so you can drive up your profits!