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How one operator is future proofing off-premises sales
12 July 2021
The pandemic dictated a new approach to off-premises dining. This piece of equipment is helping.
With drive-thru traffic at an all-time high over the past year-plus, operators are searching for any possible way to streamline efficiencies in the space. Additionally, with newer off-premises channels like curbside pickup and online ordering proliferating in a major way, it’s as important as ever for quick-service teams to be communicating clearly.
A new headset from Quail Digital, the Pro9, has three channels, two for drive thru and one for table service and curbside ordering. At least one operator—Don Bradley, a Manhattan Bagel franchise owner based in Pennsylvania—says the audio clarity of the headsets alone makes them a worthwhile purchase, as they have helped speed up his restaurant’s service, cutting out one “can-you-please-repeat-that?” question at a time.
“If you have more volume and pressure on order takers, the last thing you want is for them to not be able to hear orders clearly and quickly,” says John Bardeau, director of retail sales with Quail Digital. “The biggest thing our brand brings to the table is the quality in the sound itself and the noise cancellation that helps order takers hear the order the first time, speeding the whole process up.”
Audio Clarity/Speed of Service
It was early on in the pandemic that Bradley realized his current headset system wasn’t working. His two restaurants suddenly had 30-car stacks each weekend—up from 5 or 6 cars on a typical weekend—and flaws within the drive-thru system were exposed as a result.
“It was then that I noticed how often my staff was asking customers to repeat themselves, and how much that was slowing us down,” Bradley says. “I realized we had to do something because it wasn’t working.”
In addition to adding a second drive-thru lane, Bradley reached out to Quail Digital and purchased the Pro9 headsets that have three channels. He was immediately impressed with the headsets’ ability to provide noise cancellation and says it sped up his drive thru in a big way. Suddenly his order takers could hear not just the driver ordering, but anyone else who was in the car. He also says that the headsets immediately cut out any unwanted noise, like the car’s engine idling, further helping isolate the voice of whoever was ordering.
“They Just Work”
A second reason Bradley endorses Quail Digital’s headsets surrounds the quality of the hardware. Whereas before it felt like he was constantly sending in headsets for repair, or trying to get a headset to pair with the store’s main channel, he praises the Pro9 for its reliability and ease of use.
“Honestly, from the day they installed the system to now, everything has just been so user friendly,” Bradley says. “I don’t know how else to say it other than these headsets just work the way you are told they will work. As a brand that prides itself on great hospitality, these headsets are one less thing that gets in the way of delivering that quality experience.”
Bradley also reports that while he was used to constantly having to ship off his old headsets, made by another company, that’s become more of a rarity of late.
“The entire Quail Digital team has offered us amazing customer service,” Bradley says. “John Bardeau was my first point of contact and he held my hand through the entire process. Their installer, James, took a red eye flight, did two installs in the same day, and that’s the type of dedication they have to making sure these headsets are active and working for our brand."
The Future of Digital Dining
Because Bradley and his team have been so focused on making sure the drive-thru space was as efficient as possible, he has not yet had to add in the other two channels on the headsets for things like curbside delivery or tableside ordering. But he says it’s a possibility that his brand will use the other two channels in the future and that it’s comforting knowing he could go that direction if needed.
Bardeau agrees that Bradley and other operators across the country will soon need to roll out systems that help keep the drive thru fast and efficient but doing so while accommodating the space for curbside pickup and other digital channels.
“As diners are returning to restaurants, the three-channel system allows them to take on a different task and get away from the chatter about what’s going in the drive thru,” Bardeau says. “This is going to allow a whole new way to approach digital dining and we think we have the perfect solution for the future.”
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