drive-thru

Drive-thrus and QSRs

Employee serving a customer in a drive-thru restaurant

Drive-thrus are becoming more and more critical for delivering a good QSR experience. Consumer eating habits have changed, with a clear move away from rigid meal times and more traditional meal occasions. Consumers are also looking for a hygienic, fast, and hassle-free food experience.

A drive-thru checklist enables drive-thru restaurants to offer better service to their customer by reducing their wait-time and making their experience safe and secure.

Car identification refers to reading the number plates of vehicles without any human interference.

It can help drive-thru restaurants be informed of who has entered their premises, at what time, and how long they have stayed.

Introduction

Car identification can help you effectively identify the fleet of vehicles that pass through your drive-thru restaurant. In doing so, you can recognize license plates that will identify the respective customers and allow them to have personalized digital menus.

Process

License plate recognition has seen an exponential rise in recent years. Drive-thrus have adopted this method to identify repeat customers and allow a restaurant chain to link a person’s car with a customer’s food order and card history. Customers who are a part of loyalty programs or regularly use the restaurants’ app could add their license plates to their existing profiles. The cameras positioned in the drive-through lanes would then capture photos of the cars’ plates, and the software technology would promptly determine whether the vehicles belong to known customers.

With this use case, drive-thru restaurants can serve many customers and even reduce the time order. In addition, it can improve upselling by recommending food items based on a customer’s past orders, how the weather is, and how busy a store’s kitchen is.

Dos

  • Set up the cameras in a way that they can quickly identify the license plate.
  • Make sure to install the camera in a well-lit place, as nightfall will only make it more difficult to see. Hence, it’s essential to place the cameras in a sufficiently lit space.

Don’ts

  • The camera should not produce fogged, undersaturated, blurred, and under or overexposed footage.
  • The camera should not tilt or shake and needs to be installed properly and securely.

Customers do not prefer waiting in queues for very long. Waiting in long queues can earn bad customer service reviews. By detecting queue lengths, drive-thru restaurants can stay informed of how many customers have been waiting in lines for their turn in the drive-thru aisles.

Introduction

Waiting in line to place an order for your meal is a daunting task. Still, with a queue length detection system put in place, the establishment can manage the vehicle flow, which can help to reduce the waiting time and improve the overall customer experience.

Process

To boost sales, one should identify the touchpoints that slow down the process and increase traffic flow. For example, the lack of multi-lanes and designated pick-up points will only increase the traffic. Hence, orders should be picked up at dedicated parking spots. GPS tracking can also be helpful because location awareness ensures orders are carried out seamlessly for the customer waiting to collect their order.

Among the other ways, drive-thru stores can rectify traffic issues is by implementing dual authentication to verify the customer’s identity. In addition, identification can help to activate a customer’s profile. This, in turn, can enhance the customers’ profile by reviewing past orders and building an algorithm to create personalized menu requirements. Such a format will be instrumental in expediting the order process and allow for optimal performance while also reducing the buildup of vehicles waiting to place orders.

Dos

  • Create digital formats that will make the ordering process more systematic.
  • Ensure that you have multi lanes and designated pick-up points.

Don’ts

  • Do not forget to update the orders, especially if it is regarding the status and location of orders.
  • Do not forget to have multiple payment options available: cash, mobile payments, chip cards, and standard credit/debit card payment options.

In today’s world, time is money. As a result, customers tend to get agitated if they have to wait for a long time. Drive-thru restaurants can tackle the wait-time issue with the use of vehicle-wait time detection. By detecting vehicle wait-time, they can change their service strategy to offer faster service to their customers resulting in a good customer experience.

Introduction

There are times when an influx of customers or slow service can lead to a lengthy buildup of cars, making the customers very impatient because they are waiting to place their food orders.

Process

A poor restaurant layout and direct paths can lead to traffic, thereby increasing the waiting times for customers. It can also lead to congestion and even increase the chances of accidents. However, in most cases, the vehicle wait time is attributed to a lack of timely service. While it is understandable that the customer is expected to wait a certain amount of time for an order, it is equally important not to keep the customer waiting for too long.

Not only would that customer feel dissatisfied and possibly decide against revisiting the restaurant, but this would also lead to a buildup of vehicles behind them, causing other customers to wait unnecessarily. Hence, the staff members should be appropriately trained so that the service is up to the standards.

Dos

  • Ensure that you have an excellent restaurant layout and direct paths to make it easier for the vehicles to navigate their way to the restaurant.
  • Ensure that you have enough staff members to tend to customers’ volume, especially during peak operational time.

Don’ts

  • Do not react adversely with a customer who is complaining about a delay in service. Instead, stay calm and patient, and then offer an apology.
  • Do not be disorganized and implement a functional system wherein you know which order goes to which customer.