How Drive Thru's Works: Why is line busting better than static menu boards?

How Drive Thru's Works: Why is line busting better than static menu boards?

This is a common question from new QSRs (Quick Serve Restaurants...a.k.a Drive Thrus) looking into building a drive thru operation. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): YES. Line busting is significantly better for both the customer and your team compared to static menu boards for four reasons.

  1. Poor communication via speaker - speakers suck. This is a secret to precisely zero people who have ever ordered food at a drive thru restaurant. Spare your customer the aggravation and your business the smaller ticket by going against the grain: Provide your customers with a live human employee with whom they can place their order. 
  2. Inability to upsell - “Humans are underrated.” - Elon Musk. That statement from perhaps the greatest entrepreneur of all time is as true in drive thru as it is in cutting-edge electric car factories. Face to face interaction gives your team the ability to read customers' verbal and non-verbal communications to help guide them through the ordering process, ensuring the best possible outcome for your customer. By default, this is the best outcome for you too. Sometimes this will take the form of more accurate orders. Sometimes this will take the form of larger tickets/enhanced upsell opportunities. But, this human interaction will result in happier, repeat customers ALL of the time.
  3. Traffic Jam - waiting in line sucks. It is a universally hated part of the human experience, so why would you want to make your customers do it for one second longer than absolutely necessary? Line busting is the most efficient way to expedite lines and cut wait times for drive thru operations.
  4. Still must confirm order at window - using a conventional speaker/window drive thru format  requires customers to confirm their order at the window prior to payment and receipt of order. This takes more time, slows down your line and reduces throughput/capacity for the precious real estate that are your drive thru lanes. Line busting allows your team to confirm the order with the customer when they place their order, freeing up the windows to do the one thing that makes you money: delivering delicious, fresh food to your customers.

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