Embrace the Growing Popularity of the Drive-thru Pickup Window

As everyone knows, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, or “fast food” as it is widely known, is no stranger to service windows or drive-thru systems. The drive-thru, which first emerged in the fast-food business in the 1960s, is still effective today, and maybe even more so as many traditional quick-service chains generate more than two-thirds of their business through that window.

In recent years, fast-casual restaurants have also been getting on board with drive-thru window service since studies show that fast-casual chains that have added drive-thrus have found them to be instant sales generators. However, for fast-casual restaurants, the service has evolved into more of a pickup window, than the traditional drive-thru window system.

What’s the difference between a drive-thru window and a pickup window?

The traditional drive-thru window includes a menu board and microphone for placing your order in the drive-thru lane whereas the pickup window allows customers to place their orders in advance via phone, online, or through an app, and then arrive at the store’s pick-up window to receive their order.

Now that the implementation of a drive-thru window is the industry standard, it’s pretty hard to imagine any food provider not using some form of a drive-thru system. there will always be demand from customers for drive-thru service; the convenience of this service is appealing to a variety of different people, like those in a rush or on the go, people with limited mobility (cane, wheelchair or amputee) or people with babies and/or multiple children.

However, fast-casual food is typically associated with a longer preparation time which presents issues in the speed of service in the drive-thru lane, one of the biggest draws of a drive-thru window. This is where pickup windows have started to take over. Combined with the explosion of online food ordering services, these pickup windows can be extremely efficient for certain situations.

Perhaps the one service model that has come out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic looking more important than ever has been the drive-thru pickup window. Due to the new normal of social distancing, in this current environment, a drive-thru window is a great option for so many people who want to limit physical contact.

Customers can order online and then pick up their meal from their favorite restaurant all while maintaining a safe distance and avoiding crowds. The pickup window has provided a must-needed revenue stream for restaurants during the pandemic, so much so that some companies with the windows are returning to pre-coronavirus levels of business.

The drive-thru has helped the restaurants ensure that its coronavirus sales challenges are less severe than they were in other countries around the world.

About The Company

At OrderMatic, we develop solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. For over 60 years, we have provided turnkey contract manufacturing services nationwide. From exploring digital menu boards to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!