Blog Excerpts Part II- Drive-thru Menu Boards

In part two of our five part series we revisit some blogs that were specifically written for and about drive-thru menu boards.  When looking at drive-thru menu boards, there could be a lot of pieces to the puzzle or very few.  It all depends on how you want to enter the drive-thru world.  It is also highly dependent on your current environment, the on you’re building, or the one you’re going in to.

Drive-Thru Menu BoardsWhat a Fully Functional Drive-thru Looks Like 

The idea of using a drive-thru to increase revenue and customer satisfaction is an idea that long preceded me being in the industry.  The area that becomes a little bit fuzzy for folks is “what do I actually need for a drive-thru?”  There are a lot of separate parts that make up a fully functional drive-thru – many that people don’t even realize.

  • There are several elements that make up a fully functional drive-thru.
  • Before deciding to add a drive-thru, establish your budget to see if it is doable and check with your town to see if you are even able to put one up (and what the regulations might be).
  • If your location once had a drive-thru you are a few steps ahead in the game – a loop may already exist, and the permit is usually much easier to attain.
  • Before purchasing all the ‘bells and whistles’ for a drive-thru, separate your needs list, from your wish list; this could save you a lot of money.

Ways to Improve Your Drive-thru Part I

10- Place the order post as close to the customers as possible to enhance the ease of two-way communication.

The placement of the speaker post is critical. Using a post rather than having the speaker/mic inside the drive-thru increases voice clarity between you and the order taker.  The only time you should have it as a part of the drive-thru is if your location makes it impossible to do so.  Besides, with an on-board speaker/mic, your available real-estate for graphics is decreased.  Lastly, in a traditional scenario, the placement of your speaker post should be in front of the drive-thru and slightly to the left.  This minimizes car noise interference and allows everyone in your car a good look at the sign.

Ways to Improve Your Drive-thru Part II

30- Given the business a drive-thru produces, it cannot (and should not) be an afterthought. From design to staffing, give it the best.

We have talked a lot about this in the past.  The decision to have or add a drive-thru should not be taken lightly.  There is a decent investment that would have to be made but it usually does become your greater revenue stream.  However you should never think that a drive-thru will fix the fact that you are struggling at the “turnstiles.”

Ways to Improve Your Drive-thru Part III

51- Use a modern, high-quality speaker system.

There is no question that one of the biggest inhibitors of turnaround time is the lack of clarity over the speaker system.  If you have a drive-thru and have an antiquated system then it is time to upgrade.  If you are thinking of adding a drive-thru and don’t put in a modern speaker system, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Ways to Improve Your Drive-thru Part IV

96- Position a duplicate menu board before the order post so that guests can peruse the menu as they wait. This reduces a customer feeling rushed into ordering and allows a full review of options. It also improves speed once they arrive at the order post.

Drive-thrus are not cheap, not by any stretch.  Further, an exact duplicate would be sure to cause some confusion.  You are better off using a smaller pre-sell menu board to increase the speed of service and sales.

3 Drive-thru Menu Board Tidbits

1- Work with the right peopleA lot of times it comes down to dollars and cents.  It is just too bad that a lot of folks choose not to use their common sense.  You should go in to the drive-thru project knowing that there is going to be a decent expense.  Between the equipment, sign, prep-work and installation, you should budget for around $10K (give or take depending on needs) to achieve a “fully functional” drive-thru as noted above.  All too often, people will skimp where they can and get the menu board made by a sign company, thecommunications from “take your pick” company and the install done by a GC that they have done work with in the past.  What occurs is a disjointed process with each company reaching out to each other.  ”Where should I place the drive-thru.”  ”Is the speaker and mic coming with the system?  Is it a part of the sign?”  ”When is the sign going to be delivered?”  It goes on and on.

Speaker Post or On-Board Speaker & Mic for Drive-thru

You should go the route of the speaker post whenever you have the room to do so. Secondly, you may be taking a location over or adding a drive-thru to a place that used to have a drive-thru. If the conduit is poking up in the area where the speaker post once resided, it would make no sense to rerun it in to the base of the drive-thru.

Why- The voice clarity and communication to and fro the car outside simply cannot be matched by an on-board setup. By using a speaker post, you are also afforded the flexibility of placing it where you want or where you have to depending on the lay-of-the-land.

For more blog specific to drive-thru menu boards click HERE. Be sure to click through the pages to find those that are micro-focused on drive-thrus. Many times they have been lumped in general blogs about menu boards.

Hopefully you visited some of those blogs in their entirety to get a good feel on what is all involved with drive-thrus. If you have any questions, please reach out. | 888-235-2579