Drive-Thru Menu Boards are Going Digital

Posted On : Thursday, December 22, 2016 By : Will Pymm

Any player in the QSR space will tell you that, beyond keeping a close eye on margins, the most important factor is customer engagement and satisfaction.  One of the easiest and best ways to ensure that your customers have a terrible experience is service that is both frustrating and slow, especially at the drive thru window.  While there are certainly customers who just don’t feel like parking and dealing with standing in line, there is a larger percentage who choose drive-thru service because of its speed.  Whether they are on their way to work, trying to get kids fed after evening soccer practice, or trying to grab something quick for lunch before the nearly universally-despised 12:30 meeting, the number one reason for using a drive-thru is the ability to get food, and get on your way.

How do outdoor digital menu boards enhance the customer experience at the drive thru? The list of positives is incredible, really.  One example is the ability to curate selection.  A typical, static menu board can only be changed once in blue moon.  Very large QSRs can of course afford to update more often, but even they need to limit these types of changes because the bottom line is that it’s not cheap, and QSR margins are tight. Limiting unnecessary expenses is a huge part of long-term viability in this industry.  With digital menu boards, however, customers are able to visually bypass the clutter and focus in on what they need based on time of day.  Let’s be honest, at 7 a.m., most people aren’t looking for a double cheese burger and fries.  Most restaurants aren’t making them at that hour, anyway. Why show them to the customer, forcing them to spend precious time mentally sorting every, single item sold?

Digital menu boards allow the customization of the available assortment so that what’s shown when a customer pulls up to the ordering area is relevant to time of day, making the process faster for each customer and getting them through the line more quickly overall.  This in turn speeds up the entire experience from start to finish.  There is also research that shows that a smaller, more curated selection helps customers make decisions that leave them more satisfied with their choices over all. Too many options can be confusing and annoying when someone just wants to move through the line and get where they need to be.  Showing customers exactly what they want — coffee in the morning, burgers at noon, snacks at 3 pm, etc. — is key to optimizing sales, satisfaction and ensuring return visits in the future.

While there are clearly challenges to planning and deploying an outdoor digital menu board program for drive-thrus, the process does not need to be as difficult or complicated as it may first seem. The key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Come back next week when we’ll continue this discussion, or, contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your program meets every one of your business’ unique needs, from indoor digital boards to weatherproof dynamic displays.