Drive-thru Headsets: How Many Do You Need?

Whether you are building from the ground up, renovating an existing location, or taking over a place that once had it, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when adding a drive-thru operation. Beyond the sign itself, there are a number of add-ons and accessories as well as detection and communication equipment that will have to be coordinated and installed. Today we will focus on the communication equipment, specifically the headsets themselves.  What I am not going to address is the differences between each model and what system would be best for you.

HowManyAs a part of our conversations around communication equipment, one of the first questions is, “how many headsets are you going to need?”  It is staggering how many people think that one will suffice.  It goes without saying that you’d at least want one backup should your headset fail.  If you didn’t and a failure were to transpire, it would shut down your whole drive-thru lane.  So how do you determine the number needed in the instances where the volume is not known?  The following are five considerations that you should keep in mind when you are trying to figure this out.

1- Number of employees working the drive-thru- Naturally you’ll have at least one person taking and entering the orders.  Once entered in to the POS, the order is usually displayed on an LED in the kitchen for other workers to prepare, bag, etc the order.  This doesn’t mean you only need one headset.  From an efficiency perspective you’d be better served having some if not all the employees working the drive-thru wear a headset.  Why?  So they can begin working on the orders as they hear them come in, not after they have been entered in to the POS system.

2- What does your workflow look like? Depending on where your window(s) are, it may inhibit you from having as many people involved as you’d like, or the contrary could occur.  For instance, take a location with two windows, at a minimum you’d need a headset on the cashier as well as one at the pickup window.  Another scenario puts someone taking the order and another listening and relaying it to a team to prepare.  Put simply, take a look at your space and lay of the land and devise a workflow that would be optimal during your busiest time.  Once that has been established you’ll be able to put a number on the amount of headsets needed.

3- What is your purchasing position? Are you an existing location adding a drive-thru for the first time or are you buying new headsets for an already established drive-thru location?  If you can relate to the former then you have a little more work cut out for you.  There is no crystal ball to look in to so that you can see what kind of volume you’ll do.  Of course there are other factors, as listed here, but you may be best served by starting with a couple headsets and adding as you realize some decent traffic.  Now if you are replacing your current with new then you can benefit from knowing what kind numbers you are putting through.  However, you will have to weigh it against the increased efficiency that should come with newer technology.

4- Is a manager/trainer wearing one? Let’s assume for a second that you run a small operation which requires no more than one person wearing a headset at any given time.  You also have another headset for backup which is good.  Now what is a person to wear to help train a new employee?  If someone wants to listen in on the delivery to provide constructive feedback, how would that be accomplished?  If a new employee clams up and can’t finish their thought, how would somebody be able to save them?  I think you get the point.  It doesn’t even have to be a small operation to realize that if you want these capabilities you should account for an “extra” headset.

5- What system are you buying? Most, if not all, new systems are scalable.  What does this mean to you?  Well, you don’t have to pay for the future today.  The ultimate goal is to have a busy drive-thru where 4-6 headsets are a must to keep up.  However the likelihood of needing those right away is unlikely; it would depend on a number of factors that could be extracted from some diligent and thorough marketing research.

What else could lead you to the appropriate number of drive-thru headsets?  We must not be thinking of something.  Let us know!  888-235-2579 |