12.4 Billion Drive Thru Trips

Since the 1970s, restaurant owners and operators have tinkered with the nuts and bolts to create a drive thru that is as fast, efficient, and pleasant as possible. Innovations throughout the years, from wireless headsets and order-confirmation boards to dual lanes and pre-sell signage, have created a better drive thru capable of handling the 60–70 percent of business that now loops the exterior of most quick-service restaurants.

It’s no surprise that the NPD Group has reported that customers have made 12.4 billion trips through fast food drive thrus, with that number expected to increase every year. Even traditional fast casual restaurants are now looking and testing out drive-thru add-ons to improve their number of sales.

So, if you’re thinking of adding a drive-thru option for your quick serve restaurant or are looking to improve your existing drive thru, check out this quick tips:

Digital Menu Display
Drive thru menu displays have been in a transitional phase since quick serve restaurants started to upgrade their static outdoor displays with new digital menu boards. Studies show when a drive thru utilizes a well-designed outdoor digital menu board, drive thru restaurants will see a 5 to 8 percent increase in revenue. Digital menu boards allow you to change the menu yourself, although a Content Management System is required and will include a monthly fee. This makes it infinitely easier to manage your food items and prices and update the menu as necessary. You can add new items easily, remove non-performing ones, and even spice up the menu by moving things around. And, customers can enjoy bright, easy-to-read signage that makes ordering a breeze in the drive thru.

Clear Communication
It’s frustrating for customers and stressful for employees when they can’t hear and understand each other. Unlike stereo systems, the goal for drive-thru communication systems is not high-fidelity sound reproduction. The goal is to enhance understanding and to improve communication. OrderMatic provides easy way to improve service in your drive-thru with the exceptional clarity of the OrderMatic’s 3M wireless headset that allows you to get orders right the first time–so customers will come back for a next time. Quality speakers and headsets can ensure correct orders, better communication and overall help in the success of the drive thru. A modest investment to improve drive-thru communication can translate into tens of thousands of dollars in incremental profits.

Of course, speed is still a top priority at drive thrus. To maintain industry-best speeds, drive thrus can train and cross-train employees repeatedly to ensure the fastest speeds. It’s important for owners and operators to test and regularly revisit their drive-thru layouts in order to improve little things here and there that might impede the ability to service the drive thru quickly.