Restaurant Chains Focuses on Drive-Thru Services As Post-Pandemic Strategy
Food industry leaders now acknowledge that drive-thru may be the ultimate way to protect public health and the food market business.
According to QSR Magazine, restaurant chains have been investing in improving their drive-thru wait time and create frictionless customer experiences to support evolving customer trends caused by the rise of COVID-19. In addition, they are using this as a way of fueling their businesses for the long term.
On related reports, according to Forbes, quick-service chains saw a jump in their drive-thru sales for about over 90%.
These numbers gave restaurant chains relief from the anxiety of losing their dine-in business. As these quick service giants bet on to sharpen their competitive edge, here are some of the new operational challenges they will be doing to ensure a great customer experience.
The country's largest quick-service chain is looking to enhance the booming channel with an express drive-thru lane. The said enhancements are part of their Accelerating the Arches plan. One of the highlights of this concept is called "On-The-Go," which will carry Drive-Thru, takeaway, and delivery with limited or no dine-in seating.
In addition, President of McDonald's USA, Joe Erlinger, revealed that the third window in the drive-thru is designed to pull large or complicated orders forward. This will prevent blocking the rest of the drivers behind.
Just this October, Burger King revealed their new off-premise-focused restaurant design features. One of the many features is a suspended kitchen that utilizes a conveyor belt to deliver orders to three drive-thru lanes, with one lane designated for delivery orders.
Josh Kobza, Burger King's Restaurant Brands International Chief Operating Officer, explains that while coming up with these innovations, they considered how consumer behaviors are changing. This resulted in a new design concept that is attractive to the customers and will allow their franchisees to have a maximum return.
In response to the pandemic, Shake Shack built pop-up drive-thrus and curb-side pickups. However, moving forward, they have cleverly come up with the Shake Tracks. At present, they are incorporating improvements to this project for a better digital order pickup and drive-thru experience.
Additionally, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti reveals that they are expected to build five to eight drive-thrus over the next two years.
Three years ago, Dunkin' announced its Next Generation Concept. This new concept carries Dunkin's first-ever drive-thru exclusively for mobile ordering.
According to Restaurant Dive, Taco Bell is planning to launch its Taco Bell Go Mobile" restaurant concept in 2021. The new restaurant design showcases a 1,325 square feet site that features a drive-thru lane and a priority pickup drive-thru lane.
It will utilize a smart kitchen technology. This will be triggered once the customer has arrived at the restaurant. It will also direct them to either the priority drive-thru lane or particular parking areas for contactless curbside pickup.
Mike Grams, Global Chief Operating Officer of Taco Bell, also mentioned that they would be opening two Go-Mobile locations in the first quarter of next year.
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