March 10, 2023
Lauren Platero

Drive-Thru Ordering Systems: Benefits, Setup, & Optimization

A drive thru system is a necessary restaurant tech solution, especially for fast food restaurants. It has the potential to boost customer service and maximize revenue. Sure, fast food marketing strategies are vital for accelerating business. However, ensuring that the ordering process is simple and efficient is key.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss the many benefits of a drive thru system, even if you’re not in the fast food industry. Then, we’ll go over how to set up and optimize them to support drive thru restaurants. Now, let’s get started!

Benefits of a Drive Thru Ordering Systems

There are so many benefits that come with onboarding a drive thru system. In fact, they're one of the many benefits of fast food restaurants. Once you invest in this solutions, expect to experience the following advantages:

  • There is a very high customer turnover rate.
  • Standardized menus make for simple restaurant operations
  • It gives consumers an extremely convenient way to dine. 
  • There isn’t a need to employ a massive labor force
  • A dedicated drive thru system streamlines the ordering process. 

What Does Your Drive Thru System Need Besides a POS? 

There’s so much more to a drive thru system than the POS system. In fact, choosing a POS system that’s right for your restaurant business is just a small part of the equation. With this in mind, ensure that your restaurant payment technology can also sync with the following tech solutions:

  • Voice Ordering System: The drive thru window is probably the best place to implement voice ordering technology. Consumers can place their orders by speaking into a device. Then, it sends the order straight to the kitchen. No middle person is part of the process.
  • Online Ordering Apps: A drive thru system makes it pretty quick to order and retrieve menu items. However, mobile apps can speed up this process even further if people can place orders for pickup. Plus, people can order from your business via online ordering for delivery, which will help maximize profits
  • QR Codes: Place a custom QR code near the intercom and speakers that directs people to the menu. This feature is great, especially for those with vision impairments. Or, it can redirect people to a sign-up page for the restaurant loyalty program
  • Drive Thru Intercoms: In order to allow two-way communication between the staff and the customer, you need intercoms. The crisp audio will boost order accuracy, and it creates a smooth interaction.
  • Digital Menu Boards: You need to display your menu types somehow! Invest in high definition menu boards to display your food and drinks at the intercom.

When you select a drive thru system provider, consider other features and products they can offer. While you may not need everything, there could be add-ons that improve the ordering process at your restaurant. And considering how hospitality software is constantly changing, it's good to keep up with new innovations. 

Revolution Ordering Resources

How to Set Up a Drive Thru Ordering System at Your Restaurant

Setting up drive thru systems for restaurants is much easier than you might think. Follow these four easy steps to begin:

  1. Design the layout surrounding the brick and mortar store. This is vital for not just setting up the system, but ensuring that it will work architecturally. 
  2. Set up the systems you need to process orders and transactions. 
  3. Display the proper signs and make the menu board visible to the road. 
  4. Hire the right staff members to work the drive thru windows. 

Of course, there's much more to it. However, these are the four major starting points to check off your list.

How To Optimize Your Drive-Through Ordering System

After completing the major step of onboarding a drive thru system, it's time to make the most of it. After all, there are many working parts, so optimizing your investments is always a smart move. Not only can doing so improve operational efficiency, but it can boost customer satisfaction

To thoroughly optimize your restaurant's drive through ordering system, following these steps:

  • Ensure that you keep acquiring the latest POS hardware devices so that you're using up-to-date technologies. 
  • Implement staff development techniques to streamline communication amongst employees. This is essential, especially between the staff at the counters and in the kitchen. 
  • Keep the ordering process organized and timely. If you don't follow the step, it doesn't matter if you have the most innovative drive thru system. There's still a chance that operations can get chaotic. 
  • Make sure that you're training your staff on all new POS software and hardware. If not, your employees may not know how to make the most of all the features offered by your drive thru system. 
  • Frequently monitor restaurant data analytics. From wait times in the drive thru line to order accuracy, there are countless valuable insights that will come from your analytics dashboard. Plus, this information will also help you understand employee performance. 

After implementing tips to optimize your drive thru system, you'll be able to truly maximize your resources. As a result, the customer experience and bottom line should improve. No matter what, these should be some of your top goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Drive Through System

Even though a drive thru system hosts a very simple process, there’s a lot more to it than you might think. From sensors and cameras to timers, there is so much more to learn about. If you’d like additional information, you’re in the right place! Check out the following frequently asked questions for some extra details on the subject at hand.

What Is a Drive-Thru System?

A drive thru system comprises the physical hardware and drive thru software. It’s the system that allows restaurants, as well as other types of eateries, to sell food through a window. As the consumers drive up, they use all the components of the drive thru ordering system to place their orders and retrieve their food. From the menu boards to the drive thru POS system, it all works together.

Why Is It Called a Drive-Thru?

The term “drive thru” comes from the concept of being able to drive through the line outside a restaurant. The name says it all, and provides customers with a great sense of convenience. The drive through ordering system can allow customers and staff members to speak to one another. Then, the digital menu boards and windows allow for convenient transactions.

How Does the Drive-Thru Timer Work?

The drive thru timer works by measuring the time it takes the customers to order and retrieve their items from start to finish. The timer begins when someone drives up to the menu board. Then, it ends once they drive away with their order. The timer lets restaurants know just how long the entire process takes. Plus, it allows them to measure various parts of the ordering process, which can provide ideas on how to be more efficient.

Why Do People Use Drive-Thrus?

People use drive-thrus due to how convenient they are. Plus, they’re a great solution for those who are on the go. For one, customers can order food from the comfort of their own car. And nowadays, many drive thru restaurants use mobile ordering apps. They allow customers to order food ahead of time, which speeds up the process of retrieving food and drinks even more.

How Do Drive-Thrus Detect Cars?

The drive thru system detects cars that are in line by using sensors and cameras. The way it works is that the sensors detect changes in air pressure caused by the vehicle's weight. So, this helps indicate when a car is present. Then, cameras are used to confirm the presence of cars.

Revolution Ordering - Book a Demo

Key Takeaways

Now that you know the nitty-gritty details regarding a drive thru system, it’s time to add one to your restaurant. The pros outweigh the cons, and it’s not limited to just fast food eateries. Various food service companies can reap the benefits of such technology. And like mobile ordering, using a drive thru system will broaden your reach.