Food Forward

Food Forward

The drive thru is the cornerstone of the quick service dining experience, with well over 50 percent of fast food sales in the United States derived from the drive thru. Drive thru value is continuing to grow and, therefore, the importance of drive thru innovation and drive thru equipment is central. The QSR industry is seeing developments at lightning speed, via menu board enhancements and new technology that is being introduced. OrderMatic is among the top in their offerings, providing fast casual dining business operators with the equipment necessary to drive their business’ success.

Much of the allure of the drive thru is rooted in speed and convenience; however, recent advancements in technology continue to create the potential for an even faster and even more seamless drive thru experience. Some of these technologies offer the option to avoid the drive thru lanes entirely, and rely instead on mobile technology and a click and collect your food model.

The drive thru was built as a simple system to funnel cars through the transaction process, with customers viewing the menu, placing their order, making a payment, receiving their order as quickly as possibly and then heading on their way. Customers did not need to get out of their cars and operators could simultaneously serve customers from two different points of sale. The introduction of the drive thru concept helped to minimize lines and waiting inside of restaurants and helped to increase profits for quick service dining operators.

The benefits of a virtual drive thru are many. If the system is working in the ideal format, the original drive thru system works well but only allows drive thru attendants to serve a customer at a time. Large orders or customers who have a trouble deciding what they want quickly, can slow the process down. With the introduction of some new apps, customers can view the menu on their mobile phone at their leisure, looking at photos and descriptions of menu items. The space issue of the drive is also ideally alleviated as drive thru restaurants typically require large footprints to have room for a number of cars to wait outside in line. This creates difficulty in finding locations that offer this kind of space. With the mobile app options that are being introduced, parking spaces are required for curbside delivery, but the space requirement is much less. The mobile ordering system also allows operators to capture valuable customer data, opening opportunities track patters and frequency and create loyalty programs and targeted marketing campaigns based on the data collected.

While the mobile app technologies that are being worked on and introduced offer another option for restaurant operators, the consumer has historically been very responsive to the drive thru and introductions in new digital menu board technology and other drive thru equipment will ensure that the drive thru system will long remain “in the game” as it has shown to offer consumers with convenience, speed and simplicity.