Drive-thrus originated in 1930 in the United States, and since then, have spread to many other countries. A drive-thru is a service provided by restaurants where customers can order and pick up their food without leaving their car. Usually, the vehicles come in a queue and get their food from a window. The food orders come through a headset, for the most part.
Drivers approach the first window where they place the order and then drive at the other end of the building where they pick up their order at the second window. The total time between placing the order and picking it up should only take a few minutes. It may sound obvious, but automation and having everything ready beforehand is what it takes to make the drive-thru work. However, the success of a drive-thru depends on many factors, with time being the most important one.
Most American fast-food chains now offer a drive-thru option. The drive-thru model has almost entirely replaced the drive-in concept where there is a spot to park the car and order from a server. Having a drive-thru at your restaurant has several benefits. If you’re considering a drive-thru is for your restaurant business, then read on.
- More sales: As QSR magazine mentions, setting up a drive-thru is like adding a new business – both operationally and physically. You will incur at least 50 percent of your total capital for setting up a drive-thru. However, having a drive-thru means more sales for your restaurant. If done right, a modern drive-thru system can account for 75 percent of your total revenues. So if you’re hoping to boost your sales and revenue in 2020, investing in the modern drive-thru system seems to be a good idea.
- Perfect for small restaurant space: If your restaurant space is physically cramped or small, having a vertical window drive-thru works perfectly. You don’t need any additional space to fit it as it can slide open to left and right.
- Cater to time-crunched customers: Drive-thru customers are usually people in a rush who want to pick up a quick bite or drink on the go. If you can make your drive-thru a smooth experience for your customers, chances are you will see more returning customers at your drive-thru along with new customers. However, to make it work, you need to invest in fairly pricey technologies.
Maximizing your drive-thru sales
While drive-thrus have their perks, they have their own set of challenges too. If you’re looking to maximize sales from the drive-thru, invest in a good menu design along with an improved drive-thru system. As drive-thru customers don’t have too much time to spare, how you design your menu and present it plays a vital role between your customer and order. Innovative content creation, menu selection, and overall many layouts play a significant role in a customer’s decision making. But if you make it a point of special focus, adding a drive-thru can be lucrative and make your customers happy.