Drive-thru digital signage is changing the drive-thru game. Restaurants can increase their customer turnover through efficient ordering and make their food look better than ever. Going digital in your drive-thru is the first step in supercharging the way your restaurant operates…
Here we take a look at what Drive-thru digital signage is, how you can use it at your restaurant, and what we can expect to see from digitalised drive-thrus in the future.
What Is Drive-thru Digital Signage?
Drive-thru digital signage is a sub-sector of digital signage used in the drive-thrus of restaurants. Drive-thru digital signage includes digital menus, drive-thru kiosks, video walls, and more. In simple terms, it is where digital screens are used to communicate or serve a restaurant’s customers who are using the drive-thru. This could be for ordering, collecting, paying, or even providing feedback.
Going digital in the drive-thru helps automate the ordering process for both staff and customers, which allows for a faster and more efficient order process. This means the restaurant can serve more food and increase sales, whilst increasing customers satisfaction through a simplified process of getting their food.
How Can Drive-thru Digital Signage Be Used?
1. Digital Menus
In popular restaurants, it is now common to see digital restaurant menu boards displaying everything the restaurant has to offer. These are an engaging way of bringing attention to promotional offers and deals. But why don’t we see this as often in the outside drive-thru? Until recently, many restaurants have avoided using digital screens in outdoor environments for fear of them getting stolen, vandalised, or damaged by inclement weather. In recent times, however, outdoor digital signage has become more robust, and design innovation means they are fully vandal and weatherproofed.
This vast improvement from outdoor screen technology has allowed restaurants to expand their indoor marketing efforts to their drive-thrus. Through outdoor digital menus, restaurants can transform their menu items with videos and animations.
With digital signage scheduling, outdoor displays allow you to schedule different menus to display at different times of the day. For example, if you have a breakfast menu that’s available from 4am to 11:30am, you can schedule the menu to play within these times. When the clock reaches 11:30am, your regular menu will be displayed. This added bonus means that staff can focus their time elsewhere, comfortable in the knowledge their menus have updated.
2. Self-ordering Kiosks
Self-ordering kiosks have played a huge role in the digitalisation of restaurants.
In the past, restaurants may have only been able to take 2-3 orders at a time, but with the introduction of 6-8 self-ordering kiosks, twice the number of customers can request their order which is sent directly to the kitchen. But what are the benefits of taking this technology outside?
When you visit a drive-thru, you are likely to place your order by speaking into a microphone. The cashier on the receiving end takes your order and sends it to the kitchen. Unfortunately, this method has left many customers frustrated with wrong orders, or not being able to hear operators. This causes many customers to drive back through the drive-thru to amend their order. Not only can this result in an unhappy customer, it also takes up a space in the queue that could be used by a new customer. So what’s the solution?
Through interactive outdoor kiosks, customers can use the same interface they use in the restaurant from their car window. The customer can browse the menu and chose items before confirming. The customer’s exact order will be sent straight to the kitchen resulting in less chance of the order being wrong.
3. Personalised Content
An extremely smart innovation from restaurants is providing customers with personalised content on their digital signage. This is done through the partnership between digital signage software and number plates.
A restaurant can start by displaying welcome messages to cars to regular customers. Once a car has been through the drive-thru several times, there will be sufficient previous order information to target promotions more efficiently.
A great way to harness this technology is to provide personalised deals to upsell certain customers. For example, if the customer with the number plate “A1B2C3” usually gets a medium burger meal with a drink. You can display a custom offer that allows them to add another side for 50% cheaper than usual. Alternatively, the order process can be sped up by letting customers repeat their orders.
The Future Of The Digital Drive-thru
As always with digital signage, there are countless uses for the technology that can increase sales and reduce labour costs. The same can be said for the hospitality industry, where R&D teams work tirelessly to create unique experiences for their customers. But when the digital signage and the food world collide, what can we expect to see in the future?
Firstly, mass-scale automation. With self-serve kiosks and apps that allow you to order, restaurants are clearly looking for fully automated solutions that increase revenue. Digital signage is already a vital marketing tool in the industry and this is set to continue with the exciting developments in outdoor menu boards.
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