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Drive Thru TechnologyEnter Here: Drive Thru Transformation and the Evolving Guest Experience

drive thru transformation blog header

Posted by SICOM | March 21, 2017

 

Historically, one distinction between the QSR and fast casual sectors has been the drive thru window. QSRs have long leveraged the drive thru as a powerful means of delivering speedier service and increased convenience to their guests. Conversely, fast casuals historically steered clear of the drive thru—opting instead to build outstanding consumer experiences inside their restaurants’ doors.

In recent years, however, we’ve seen a paradigm shift. Evidenced by brands like Panera, the drive thru is no longer a QSR-only phenomenon. Fast casual restaurants are increasingly embracing the power of stay-in-your-car convenience. For the quick service restaurant, the drive thru generates up to 60 percent of sales. But in order to fully capitalize on the drive thru’s business-building potential, fast casuals will need to serve guests on the road without compromising the engaging experiences for which their brands are known.

Why is the time now? What has driven fast casual’s path to the drive thru, and how must the drive thru evolve to keep up with increasing consumer demands?

The answer lies in the evolution of drive thru technology, which empowers greater convenience, guest engagement and personalization than ever before. Let’s take a look at three breakthrough solutions that have transformed the drive thru from a mere means of convenience to a powerful pillar of the modern consumer experience.

Technology 1: Outdoor Digital Signage

Bringing Ambiance Outdoors

With the proliferation of weather-resistant outdoor digital signage, brands are able to bring indoor ambiance to the drive thru experience. Outdoor digital signage introduces new possibilities for visual vibrancy and impact—unleashing a new drive thru reality that was not possible with the dull, static signage of the past. With outdoor digital menu boards, brands can leverage dynamic techniques like immersive full screen takeovers, and life-like video-based creative.

Technology 2: Order Confirmation Systems

Personalized Engagement & Suggestive Selling

The next breakthrough technology is the dynamic order confirmation system—which not only empowers restaurant crew to ensure the accuracy of orders, but also delivers highly personalized promotions that take seasonality, guest preferences and ordered items into account. In addition to driving guest satisfaction through order accuracy, dynamic order confirmation systems provide a tailored experience that makes guests feel uniquely served. Historically, this level of engagement and personalization was only possible inside the restaurant with face-to-face interactions.

Technology 3: Speed of Service Solutions

Driving Speed & Satisfaction

Next up is the advanced speed of service solution, which leverages sensor-based data to accurately measure speed of service, automate order management, and provide a real-time visualization of drive thru traffic at all times. Speed of service solutions shrink the gap between restaurant crew and drive thru consumers, enabling restaurants to provide a more efficient, effective and satisfying guest experience for those ordering and receiving food from their cars.

At SICOM, we partner with quick service and fast casual brands, franchisees and restaurants to transform their outdoor guest experiences, and capitalize on the true revenue potential of the drive thru. With innovative technology solutions, outstanding service and three decades of specialized expertise in QSR and fast casual demands, SICOM can assist you in supercharging your drive thru and maximizing your competitive advantage.

Are you thinking of implementing drive thru in your restaurant, or simply looking to get more from your existing drive thru operation? Contact SICOM today.

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