Staff tablets in the drive-thru aren’t new. Chick-fil-A has armed its employees with tablets for years. One staff member goes through the line and takes orders with their tablet, while another takes payments. According to Chick-fil-A, this process moves the line twice as fast as a traditional speaker box drive-thru. InN-Out takes a similar approach.

For a while, these two concepts were the only ones that deployed line-busting tablets. But recently, a growing number of quick-service restaurants are testing the technology.

Starbucks is introducing handheld devices to boost throughput and guest experience. El Pollo Loco has recently expanded tablet testing to 10 restaurants. As wait times and labor shortages continue to grow, it’s likely that more drive-thru operators will adopt the technology.

Augment staff efficiency.

Today’s staff tablets offer more features than ever. They enable staff to view guest profiles, enter orders, take payments, and obtain real-time feedback.

Using the menu search feature, even newer staff can quickly find items. To speed up the process even further, the tablets can integrate with speech recognition technology. Staff can simply place orders for guests by speaking to the tablet. Tablets also offer visual verification of orders and POS integration, increasing accuracy in order-taking.

The tablets can also offer staff reward points based on service speed and upsells. This gamification helps motivate teams and improve guest satisfaction.

Augment staff efficiency.

Greet guests as soon as they arrive.

Not every concept needs to follow Chick-fil-A’s playbook step by step. Staff tablets can enable a range of use cases to fit different operating needs.

Here’s one example. Rather than using tablets to take all orders, a restaurant has deployed a voice system at its drive-thru. This speech recognition technology offers guests voice-based ordering that is fast and highly accurate. But if lines start growing too much, the manager can deploy staff to bust lines with tablets.

Alternatively, operators can reserve staff tablets for giving their loyal guests the VIP treatment. Staff can be notified via tablets about the arrival of a loyal guest. By viewing guest profiles on the tablet, they can immediately greet the guest by name and offer tailored recommendations.

Offer personalized, face-to-face service.

Guest demand for technology and convenience is continuing to grow. But this doesn’t mean that guests want to forego face-to-face interactions entirely when visiting their favorite drive-thru. Deploy staff tablets to offer guests both speed and one-on-one service.

Technology doesn’t have to completely replace all human elements in hospitality. In fact, voice technologies are valued for their ability to use conversational A.I. to serve guests in a way that’s even more friendly and helpful. But technology can help automate more routine tasks so that the face of your brand can shine.

In addition to staff tablets, Presto offers enterprise-grade vision and voice technologies to optimize operations. Have more questions about drive-thru technologies? 

About Presto

Presto overlays next-gen digital solutions onto the physical world. Our enterprise-grade touch, vision, and voice technologies help hospitality businesses thrive while delighting guests. With over 100 million guests using Presto each month and 300,000 systems shipped, we are one of the largest technology providers in the industry.

Founded at M.I.T. in 2008, Presto is headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calif. with customers including top 20 hospitality chains such as Applebee’s, Aramark, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Denny’s, and Outback Steakhouse.