Fuel Your Business with Drive-thru Service
The impacts of the national pandemic continue to challenge restaurants and other retail establishments. The good news is that, for nimble and resourceful owners and operators, alternative delivery methods can keep customers coming back.
In a recent “State of What Feeds Us” (SWFU) report, Bluedot found that 74 percent of people have visited drive thrus the same amount or more often than they did pre-pandemic. This is a 43 percent increase over what was reported in April. How can restaurants and retailers use drive-thru service to boost business? Here are some facts.
1. Make it safe. One reason counter-service restaurants are performing better than other restaurants and retailers is that many had pre-established drive thrus. Consumers report that they feel safer using drive thrus because they can avoid crowds and minimize contact with other individuals. In fact, 40 percent of the respondents to the SWFU survey said they feel drive thrus are the safest option, compared to delivery, carryout, or dine-in.
Consumers also overwhelmingly stated that wearing masks is the most important safety precaution staff and customers can take. Customers want to be told what you are doing to keep your facility safe and healthy, so consider signage or fliers that communicate the measures you have in place.
2. Make it efficient. While consumers appreciate the perceived safety drive thrus provide, they still insist on quick service. Bluedot’s report found that 81 percent of respondents to their survey think anything more than 10 minutes is too long to wait in a drive thru. To improve efficiency, many stores are adding lanes, walk-up windows and dedicated courier delivery pick-up areas to better manage traffic.
3. Make it easy. Not only are consumers requiring fast service, they want it to be easy, too. The order-ahead option is one way to streamline the ordering process. SWFU reported an increase in mobile app usage for ordering food and other essentials. In fact, 64 percent of the survey respondents stated that they have downloaded at least one new app to purchase goods from essential stores. If you are not in a position to offer an app, adding this function to your website may be an easier stop-gap option for smaller operations.
What if you don’t have a drive thru? A quick alternative is curbside pickup, which is gaining in popularity since early pandemic months. However, as we continue into Month Nine of the pandemic, and consumers become more reliant on and accustomed to drive-thru service, this might be the ideal time to consider adding a drive thru to your facility. Studies show that habits being developed during the pandemic will likely have a lasting impact on future shopping behaviors.
With a portfolio that boasts more than 2500 quick-service restaurant projects, Peter Schwabe, Inc. is an ideal construction partner for new restaurant/retail construction or modifications to make your current location more conducive to current consumer demands. To connect with a member of our National Brands Team, contact Michael Gilbert, Director of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262/352-9786.
The owner of this restaurant was able to increase traffic to this location by improving the efficiency of its drive thru incorporating new functionality. By adding tandem lanes and a second window to pass food, the restaurant was able to improve traffic flow and accommodate growing demand for drive-thru service.
PSI was trusted to complete this project in 90 days, from demolition to completed new construction. Despite obstacles ranging from site clean-up and permitting issues to working within tight space limitations and difficult weather conditions, our PSI team and dedicated subcontractors were able to deliver the project within the aggressive timeline.