QSR Drive-Thru Suggestions

Although we typically deal with QSR drive-thrus on the menu boards side of things, we’ve witnessed some absolute drive-thru no-no’s on our own and have heard other horror stories from numerous clients and prospects.  We’ve decided to share some of these tips with you, to prevent you from making some of these same mistakes.

1- Choose the right person to man the headset.

Personality can go a long way in determining a customer’s lasting impression after visiting a drive-thru.  This isn’t to say that you should only hire employees with beaming personalities but there is no disputing the fact that certain people are better fits for particular roles.

2- Make sure your drive-thru menu boards are set up properly.

There are a couple of areas of your drive-thru set up that should be taken in to consideration: (1) the menu board should be spaced out and angled appropriately for optimal viewing; and (2) the graphics should be laid out in a readable and straightforward manner, making it easy to interpret for your customers.

3- If something breaks, fix it – immediately!

A blown speaker or mic, missing graphics, burnt out bulbs – these are all things that we have seen periodically throughout the years when we have passed through drive-thrus.  In some instances this causes lanes to be shut down.  Not only does this hurt the bottom line but it also frustrates customers who anticipated going the route of convenience.

Drive-Thru Menu Boards4- During busy times, try new ways to expedite service.

Before making the investment in smart devices, send someone outside using the old-school pen and paper approach.  Have them collect orders from the backed up cars before they get to the menu board.  Return inside, key the orders in to the POS system and print receipts.  When you return to take more orders, deliver the receipts to the waiting customers so they can prepare their cash.  When the history of volume presents itself, then it may be time to make an investment in to devices that would streamline this process.

5- Monitor drive-thru personnel reactions to customer orders.

This is a very subtle thing that can have a lasting effect.  Imagine for a second, placing an order and being told “haven’t heard someone order it like that before,” or “wow that is a lot of stuff,” or simply “just give me a minute.”  Unintentional (or, unfortunately, sometimes intentional) condescending and rude remarks are the single easiest way to turn off your customers.  Put another way, make sure your employees are minding their P’s and Q’s.

6- Offer incentives to come back.

There are many different ways to accomplish this:

  1. If you are a new establishment, send them home with a full print-out menu in their bag.
  2. Add on-line ordering and stress the convenience of being able to pick it up at the drive-thru.
  3. Begin a loyalty program that uses a point system to be applied to future orders.
  4. Use receipts or print-outs to offer coupons or limited time offers for a future return.

7- Make sure orders are correct.

Order confirmation boards are becoming more and more popular for 2 main reasons: (1) order accuracy reduces waste and increases profitability for the restaurant; and (2) receiving what you ordered, how you ordered it, increases customer satisfaction.  If it isn’t palatable from a business stand-point to invest in an order confirmation board, train your employees to read back the order after it has been placed.  In addition, when the car has arrived to pay, hand over the receipt and suggest that they read it over to make sure that the order was entered correctly.  If something was missed it is easy enough to add it at the window.

Looking for more specifics on how to accomplish these suggestions?  Give us a call today at 888-235-2579 or email us at info@origindisplays.com and we’ll be happy to help you out!