Latest Digital Demands Happening at the Drive Thru

Customers look for speed and accuracy when they place an order and pick up food at a restaurant drive-thru, and they want an overall satisfying customer service experience. It’s estimated that 50 to 70 percent of fast food sales occur at the drive-thru so it’s no surprise that operators are dedicated to “getting it right,” which often means installing the latest technology to help them do so.

The drive-thru continues to become more of an important vehicle for sales transactions. Whether its updating speakers and headsets, drive-thru timers or digital menu boards, there are a variety of technologies operators can employ to improve the drive-thru experience.

Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu boards are another area seeing advancement. Whether it’s for pricing, promotions or menu changes from breakfast to lunch and back again, digital menu boards is an area that holds great potential for investment. When the menu is dynamic and not static, there is the opportunity to provide different promotions for different dayparts and offer unique promotions.

Mobile Ordering
As today’s guests are increasingly connected and mobile, the on-the-go experience is seeing a major change. Operators can accelerate digital capabilities by integrating the use of order-ahead technology not only in restaurants but in the drive-thru and for pick-up as well. Mobile ordering allows customers to personalize orders and select curbside delivery in order to bypass the drive-thru line. Customers that opt for the drive-thru will read an order code to the crew and pick-up at the window. This additional ordering outlet can increase speed while driving up the daily order volume.

Engagement and Communication
In order for the drive-thru to retain its relevancy, it is vital that restaurants utilize technology that enables clear communication and fosters order accuracy between drive-thru employee and customers. In addition to audio improvements, certain technology updates can offer customers a visual confirmation as well as voice confirmation from an employee.

The near future also offers innovations beyond the traditional technologies. For example, customer service will be directly affected by technologies that will allow operators to physically identify a customer as he pulls up to the restaurant — either by the car or the person driving it. Progress is already being made in the area of vehicle identification, especially with those experimenting with order-ahead technology.