Team communication at its best

Future-proofing your drive-thru... Quick-service operators are embracing change in order to stay competitive.

05 April 2022

 

'Shrinking restaurant footprints mean more customers are either going through the drive-thru or picking up previously placed orders in the parking lot. Having a third channel on the headsets and allowing a team to focus just on these customers can help resolve this. Another trend is, of course, adding an additional lane or a tandem setup.  John Bardeau, Quail Digital Director of Retail Sales - North America. QSR April 2022.

 

 

Here John answers some more of your QSR drive-thru Questions...

 

What are the major ways in which quick-serve drive-thrus have evolved, especially since the onset of the pandemic?
Covid pushed customers out of the dining area so the drive-thru traffic has exploded.  In addition QSR operators became quite innovative with the use of curb-side pickup programs in order to keep up with the flow.  Also, we’ve seen a significant increase in the use of dual-lane and tandem systems which greatly improve throughput.

 

What are the components of a successful drive-thru program?

There are many pieces to this puzzle but a great drive-thru headset system, like the Pro9, is at the core. Sound quality and noise reduction are critical to ensure accurate, stress-free order taking.

 

How can drive-thrus help operators cope with the labor shortage, supply chain shortages and other current challenges?

To operate the most efficiently with a tighter labor force, operators must provide their employees with a comfortable, easy to use, technologically advanced Pro9 headset system.  Employees rely on a headset system during their entire shift to expedite drive-thru orders as well as communicate with other employees. QSR staff do not have time or the mindset to deal with broken or out of date headsets that can slow or completely stall service.  A quality headset system in good working order contributes to the fastest order output, inventory control and happier employees who stay employed.

 

What are some things operators should consider when thinking about implementing/upgrading their drive-thrus?

What questions should they ask suppliers?  There are many questions they should ask but here are two very important considerations.  With curb-side orders becoming so popular, they should be considering having a 3rd channel to manage these customers so finding a manufacturer with this feature is important.  They should also ask about the sound quality and noise reduction capabilities because, if these features are not top-shelf, they are going to run into problems.

 

How has the rise of mobile ordering and third-party delivery changed the drive-thru?

Both of these new methods require a robust curb-side pickup process which can be very nicely handled with a third channel on the headsets.

 

What kind of sales metrics other data/operational insights can operators get from the drive-thru?

A good drive-thru timer gives a tremendous amount of information about the stores overall performance.  In addition, many chains have a score board connected to other locations so they always know how they are doing

 

How important is the customer journey through the drive-thru, and how can operators better engage customers while they wait?

In my opinion’ the best plan here is to cut down on the wait time as much as possible and adding a second lane or tandem system will make a big difference.  Digital menu boards are really the most effective tool for upselling and brand promotion.

 

One final thought?

Employees wear headsets all day long.  The importance of a well-made, well-balanced headset which fits comfortably, is easy for your employs to use and offers complete clarity of sound, is sometimes overlooked.  As owners look to the future, it’s a great idea not to stick with the same old headset system they have used forever, but explore other headset brands to make sure they are getting the best for their drive-thrus.

 

Read more about John’s insights into drive-thru in

QSR Magazine, April Edition

 

 

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