Many technological advancements have been made since drive-thru service was introduced in 1947. Despite the technological improvements, speed of service has been declining in recent years. Annual drive-thru performance studies by QSR Magazine found that average drive-thru wait times were 225 seconds in 2017, up from 173 seconds just five years prior (i.e. 2012). Owners attributed much of the increase to having more complex and premium menu items. Whatever the reason, the uptick demonstrates the need to decrease wait times.
Customers appreciate the convenience and speed of drive-thru service, while restaurant owners appreciate the increase in revenue when their lines move efficiently. Here’s how choosing the right fast-food point of sale (POS) system can put the “quick” back in quick service.
Integrated Drive-Thru Order Confirmation Screen
Having a customer-facing screen that displays the order as it’s entered will help improve both accuracy and speed of service. Customers can review their orders and make any corrections before it goes through, reducing errors and increasing their overall satisfaction. It is also quicker to visually confirm than to listen to the cashier repeat all the details, speeding up the order-taking process with an order confirmation screen.
Order Recall Screen to Improve Efficiency
When customers do make corrections while viewing the confirmation screen — whether it’s because they changed their mind mid-order, misspoke, or an item was simply entered incorrectly — it’s important that the cashier has an easy way to fix it. Another highly useful fast-food POS feature is an order recall screen that allows employees to easily edit an item without having to delete and re-enter the whole order. The ability to quickly and easily make changes helps keep the line moving.
Suggestive Selling Prompts and Combo Pricing
Upselling and cross-selling are proven ways to increase order sizes. However, drive-thru and in-store employees are on the spot to provide fast, efficient service, so these suggestions must be made quickly and consistently. Give your employees the tools they need to fulfill these goals. The right fast-food POS system can provide easy suggestive selling prompts, every time. With capabilities allowing you to pre-set combo pricing, orders can be entered with a single touch. These features can increase revenue while speeding up order-taking.
Smart Tender to Expedite Cash Collection
Expediting the drive-thru process starts with taking orders and ends with taking payments. Credit or debit cards can be faster than cash, because often you can just swipe and go. But there is still a significant percentage of customers who prefer to pay with cash. Once again, your fast-food POS can help. Look for a POS that offers smart tender, a feature that predicts the amount of cash incoming. This feature presents dynamic cash tender buttons that the cashier can simply tap rather than entering in the entire amount.
For example, say an order comes to $12.74. The smart tender will display buttons for $13, $15, $20, and $50. If an order is $26.57, the buttons might be $27, $30, $40, and $50. Just tap the correct button and the transaction is tendered to cash for that amount, with the change due displayed. Besides speeding up cash transactions, smart tender options also result in a more accurate cash drawer at the end of the shift.
The more customers you can move through your lines, including drive-thru, the more you streamline your operations and thus, increase profit. Your customers will be happier when you provide faster and more accurate service. Giving your employees the tools they need to provide optimal service and increase customer satisfaction will determine your restaurant’s success. Can your drive-thru time beat 225 seconds?
HungerRush offers versatile, integrated POS solutions that can be tailored to the needs of any type of restaurant, including fast-food and QSRs. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of 24/7/365, U.S.-based customer support. To find out more about how our solutions will grow your business — and grow right along with you — today.