Consumers want more than just a meal, a cup of coffee, or snack when they enter your retail foodservice drive thru according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based global foodservice consultancy Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson stated that consumers expect fast service but want a branded interactive participatory experience.
Tom Cook, principal at King-Casey recently noted that Drive-thru customers are looking for a good experience at the drive-thru and for a chain to achieve this it must provide a combination of speed of service, order accuracy, good communication, and an easily navigated menu-board.
Cook explained that “order accuracy is much more important than speed, at this point. If you drive off and have the wrong order, you are one unhappy customer.” Cook sited several restaurant companies that are good examples of drive-thru excellence Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Chick-fil-A are getting it right.
Cook explained that Starbucks has good drive-thru signage and a green stripe indicating how to navigate the area, Starbucks installed digital screens so customers can see the barista and vice versa, as well as digital menu-boards and Johnson believes that digital menu-boards should be standard for all drive-thus
At Panera Bread excels act consumer interaction and Cook says what stands out is the staged zoned merchandising, including multiple messages to customers in the drive-thru before they get to the main menu-board. With this signage, Panera Bread is able to pre-sell items, including a limited-time offer or a special sandwich or drink they want to promote, Cook explained.
In terms of a top menu-board experience, Cook said Chick-fil-A may not be using digital boards, but the content on their menu-boards is optimized from a business perspective and very clear, simple and easy to read for customers. The chain put “a lot of thought into where things are placed, how much space is given, how much white space to use, etc.,” . Note: “They have their entire menu up there, but it’s very clean and organized,” he continued. “They only show pictures of key products that are bestsellers, and the rest is just listed.” Are you considering adding a drive thru? If so King-Casey just might be the design company for you.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy. Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant