Imagine the typical drive-thru restaurant layout - a box on a busy street, perhaps on a corner, an entry and exit driveway, a marked out drive-thru lane wrapping around the building, with the menu board towards the back and the payment and pick-up windows on the side. Next, imagine the typical drive-thru restaurant type - a QSR or a coffee shop. Now imagine that these descriptions do not fit your business. Drive-thrus are popping up in more and more places, in what a few years ago would have been considered very unconventional. Here are some examples:
The Howard Company did a social media survey that asked the question, 'Before entering a restaurant's drive-thru, how often do you know your exact order?' The answer options were 'Always, Sometimes, Rarely, and Never.' With 51 total participants, 37 individuals (73%) voted 'Sometimes, Rarely, or Never,' and only 14 individuals (27%) voted 'Always.'
In our small sample, nearly three-quarters of drive-thru customers say they do not know their exact order beforehand. At the same time, they choose the drive-thru for convenience and speed of service. This indecision hints at how important it is to present items before customers reach the main menu board—giving guests time to make a decision, upselling, and cross-selling with special, limited-time offers. The Howard Company designs presell boards for these scenarios.
Jim Reeder talks more in-depth about the top three reasons businesses should include a presell board in their drive-thru(s) in the video titled 'The Benefits of Adding Presell Boards.'
The Howard Company has many innovative solutions and a customer favorite is our outdoor digital menu board. It is named the ‘Flex,’ as it allows businesses to be flexible with their content in the drive-thru. While onsite, printed graphics and digital menu boards can easily be switched out in a short amount of time. The best part is that the drive-thru can remain open during installation!
In January of 2021, a few team members from The Howard Company (Grant Gustke: Regional Vice President, Jean Jones: Marketing Director, and Rob Vaccarella: Installation and Product Support Specialist) visited The Human Bean in Woodland Park, Colorado, to make this change on one of our three-door Drive-Thru Flex Digital Menu Boards. Watch the time-lapse of the transition below:
An intriguing public relations trend that many major restaurant chains have jumped on in the last few months is publishing images of their "drive-thru of the future." The renderings are sometimes flashy and futuristic, and the headlines tell the tale of 2020. But there is a lot more going on than what is indicated by the headlines.
Along with drive-thru systems and curbside pickup solutions, a business's outdoor space has many different branding opportunities. From the moment a guest notices your location(s) driving down the street, to their entrance into the parking lot, until the time they leave, there are multiple ways to communicate with your customers through building signs, drive-thru signs, and curbside pickup signs!