Tips to Avoid Drive-Thru Disaster

Broken Drive Thru Menu Board

Imagine you are pulling up to grab a quick bite to eat at a local drive-thru restaurant. Upon entering the drive-thru lane, you see 5 or 6 cars ahead of you. The frustration already begins to set in. As you wait, you squint to see the menu board up ahead. You wish there was a way to see some menu item options while you wait, but there is no presell menu board. Once a few cars pull forward, the menu board becomes visible.

Yikes. Things are not looking good. Its backlighting is partially burned out, markers have been used to cross out menu items, the menu panels are being held together with strips of tape, and the graphics are faded and frankly look unappealing.

As you begin to wonder about the quality of the food you are about to receive given the state of the drive-through equipment, you hear shouting up ahead. The guest in the car in front of you has leaned out the window of his vehicle trying to shout his order into the speaker box.

The employee responds once again in a crackled voice. “I’m sorry sir, can you repeat that one more time.”

Sounds like a nightmare, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be! Our Uni-Structures team has studied the drive-thru environment for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and products to help transform any drive-thru operation into a beautiful, functional, safe, and efficient operation.

To help you get started in the right direction, we have compiled some simple tips to help improve your drive-thru service:
  1. Update Your Drive-Thru Products: Faulty, damaged, or outdated drive-thru equipment can be frustrating for customers. Install a clearance bar and clear signage at the entrance, place a pre-sale menu board to entertain customers waiting in line and promote specials, and update your menu board to prevent disappointment and frustration.
  2. Offer Online Ordering: Establish an online ordering system. According to a QSR magazine report, 49% of QSR customers would prefer to order online and use a pickup-only drive-through lane, and 42% would like to have more mobile ordering options.
  3. Streamline Your Drive-Thru Operations: Create a streamlined process, maintain good communication, and minimize wait times.
  4. Use Mobile Technology: Invest in mobile technology to communicate with customers in real-time, enhance order accuracy, and streamline payment and pickup processes.
  5. Invest in AI to Predict Drive-Thru Orders: Drive-thrus that predict orders is the future of fast service. Drive-thru AI technology can create personalized digital promotions, suggest foods based on daily popularity, and show customers their previous orders.
  6. Use Face-to-Face Ordering: Implement face-to-face ordering to increase drive-thru sales and customer satisfaction. This method can reduce drive-thru wait times by half that experienced at traditional speaker box drive-thrus.

Need more advice? Our team is ready to help!

1 Comment

  • Familiarize yourself with the drive-thru menu and make your selections in advance. This can help minimize confusion and reduce the time spent at the ordering station.

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