03 Oct Fast Food Drive Thru
The fast food drive thru concept has been in existence for a very long time and has gradually evolved to create a drive thru experience that is quick, efficient, and as pleasant as possible. The concept, in fact, is ever evolving. Advances over the years have included wireless headsets, order confirmation boards, dual lanes and pre-sell signage to help facilitate the high volume of business that moves through the exterior portion of many quick service restaurants today.
Accuracy is a top priority in the developments, which make up the evolution of the drive thru experience, while favorable exteriors and cleanliness come in a close second. Kitchen automation, point of sale equipment and drive thru equipment (i.e. signage and bump bars) are just a few of the pieces of the puzzle in mapping out the best strategy for a successful fast food drive thru experience.
A decline in the focus on speed of service as the number one priority has been a notable change, and most contributable to the fact that menu options have shifted. Food is not quite as simple as it used to be. While the original burger and fries combo is still in existence, food bowls, salads and other healthy options have become more popular. A more complex menu for operators to deal with and items that take a bit longer to prepare, translates into longer service times. Busier drive thru lanes are also a contributing factor when it comes to longer average service times in the drive thru.
Dual-lane drive thrus are one solution introduced to help better manage busier drive thru traffic. Industry experts note that you can get really fast in the drive thru and completely ruin the overall experience by not taking the time to be friendly and attentive and possibly not taking the time to guarantee accuracy or make sure that the product served to the customers has been built the way it was intended to be built. There is a careful balance that has to be continually looked at to make sure the product that is offered, the packaging that the product is placed in, the tools and training offered to the staff, and the equipment used are all supporting the overall goals of the business.
From staying on top of trends in food service to selecting the right drive thru equipment and layout, staying on top of kitchen automation trends and the latest point of sale equipment, there is a balance to be sought after in striving for success in the fast food service industry. Every little step can add extra seconds to the speed of service and every detail can either add or take away from the overall experience for the customer.