Quick-service restaurants across the nation are being forced to offer drive-thru services only as states enforce new “shelter in place” regulations. Closing dining rooms limits millions of guest and staff interactions, further enabling social distancing. But how can quick-service restaurants still remain profitable, while keeping both staff and guests safe? Self-service technology in the form of Drive-Thru Kiosks can allow customers to order and pay for food without human contact, while increasing throughput to meet higher demand.
Why Quick-Service Restaurants Are Closed for Dine-In
Quick-service restaurants that have made updates to their polices actively express their urge to prioritize the health of both their guests and staff. This is for good reason. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 60% of consumers are concerned about eating out, citing concerns over safety. As a result, quick-service restaurants have been proactively updating their guests with their latest operational measures to keep their establishments safe.
- Dunkin’ Donuts is limiting service nationwide to drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery service only to limit person-to-person contact.
- Jack in the Box is closing all dining-room services for the health and safety of their guests and employees, while still providing drive-thru and mobile-delivery services.
- KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell are closing their dining rooms and shifting to off-premise sales only for the health and safety of their guests and employees.
- McDonald’s is closing all seating areas to adhere to social distancing guidelines, and shifting their operations to drive-thru, walk-in take-out, and delivery.
- Panda Express will be closing dining rooms and transitioning to pick-up, delivery, and drive-thru to maximize social distance.
- Qdoba is suspending dine-in services and transitioning to limited-contact ordering through to-go and delivery to preserve the health of their employees and communities.
- Shake Shack is shifting to to-go, pickup, and delivery only for the wellbeing of guests, staff, and communities.
- Starbucks is changing to a to-go model only to encourage social distancing and help contain COVID-19.
- Wendy’s will be open for takeout, pickup, drive-thru, and delivery only.
- In-N-Out is serving guests via take-out and drive-thru orders only.
- Panera has stopped all dine-in services and will serve guests via to-go, pick up, drive-thru, and delivery following CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
Restaurants must first acknowledge guest’s fears over their own and employees’ health in order to ease their worries. But how can quick-service restaurants bolster their guests’ confidence further to encourage them to still patronize them via drive-thru? Self-service technology in the form of drive-thru kiosks enables restaurant employees and guests to minimize human contact with each other, while still ensuring a superior guest experience.
Benefits of Drive-Thru Kiosks
By placing a Drive-Thru kiosk at the window, restaurants can enable customers to order and pay without the need for human contact. Employees can place wipes or hand sanitizer by the kiosk with placards, encouraging customers to use them before and after interacting with the device. This provides guests peace of mind, while ensuring the safety of both employees and guests.In addition, Drive-Thru Kiosks help increase throughput as demand increases. According to the 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study, average drive-thru wait times increased by 8.5% compared to 2018. This will increase further due to increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drive-Thru Kiosks can provide upsells automatically as guests enter items from their orders. The 2019 QSR Drive-Thru Study reported that suggestive sells improved service time by an average of 6 seconds.Guests who use self-service technology often end up spending more. Restaurant analyst Peter Saleh reported that “customers placing their own orders tend to engage with the menu longer and spend 15% to 25% more than orders placed at the counter.” Presto Drive-Thru Kiosks also allow guests to sign in, and receive personalized upsells based on preferences and past orders. The result is guests that leave on a positive experience after being able to place their orders seamlessly.
Future-Proof Your Business
Quick-service restaurants must be proactive about their COVID-19 response with immediate communication and action. Implementing Drive-thru Kiosks is a win-win for restaurants looking to scale their growth and guests who want to still patronize their favorite chains. This will also ensure that guests who still refrain from eating out now will remember the brand’s level of action and leadership, and return when the pandemic eases. Finally, there will be an increase in demand for drive-thru after guests grow accustomed to using this method. Restaurants that optimize for drive-thru will have the advantage in the long run too.Get Presto Drive-Thru Kiosks for free and without any contractual obligations. Our teams are ready to deploy the products at your stores in just a few days. If you are interested in this offer, please contact us at your earliest convenience.