2020 was a year of forced reflection for the restaurant industry. What has become obvious is that restaurants have to maximize their real estate by utilizing it for multiple selling channels - the drive-thru being the most important. Many operators are envisioning what the drive-thru will look like in the future. The good news is that The Howard Company has been looking ahead for years, and our technology and equipment are already assisting in helping restaurants achieve their goals.
Dream big! When you focus on the guest experience, it may completely change how you think about the layout of your site.
Sell the way your customer wants to buy - dine-in, curbside pickup, drive-thru or delivery. Use technology such as a mobile or web app for greater guest convenience and invaluable customer behavior data.
Can you safely and efficiently move vehicles and people around the site? Safety is a real concern, as is customer satisfaction. The traffic flow has to be well-planned.
How do you keep all of your technology working together? How does the POS drive the digital menu board content? How does the mobile app tie to the POS? How do you keep it all working together?
Smaller building footprints mean the spending on brand messaging moves from the interior space to the exterior space.
Make sure your guests know where to go. Don't underestimate the value of good wayfinding signage. It is an inexpensive way to improve the customer experience.
What will a future drive-thru look like? Our Vice President of Sales was a guest on a webinar to discuss that very thing.