What Guests Want from Drive-Thru Tech

    The pandemic has expedited technological innovations for the restaurant industry, including in the drive thru. Tools that once seemed like future fantasies—like mobile ordering and AI—are suddenly becoming commonplace. Here’s what consumers think about these ordering opportunities. (The below figures represent percentage of study respondents.)

    drivethru innovation overall genz millennials genx boomers
    Artificial intelligence helping make decisions when placing order 14 21 23 14 6
    More extensive digital signage 20 7 16 20 25
    Ordering system that remembers my last order 24 28 26 25 21
    Ordering system that remembers me and my preferences 30 21 37 32 22
    Carhops, placing order from car 36 28 39 31 38
    Automated technology detecting car arrival, pre-order brought to car 36 31 43 35 31
    Mobile ordering options 38 34 42 41 32
    Contactless payment options 42 48 43 41 41



    2020 QSR drive-thru performance study Methodology

    The FoodserviceResults team conducted a comprehensive, nationally representative survey of drive-thru consumers in the U.S. using an online survey sample. Participants in the research were screened for frequency of use as well as numerous demographic characteristics in order to ensure that the respondent base was reflective of the U.S. drive-thru market.

    Leveraging insights from numerous industry experts, the finalized survey was completed among 1,007 drive-thru consumers during fieldwork. To ensure a relevant respondent base was achieved, all participants were screened to include those who had at least one drive-thru occasion in the last 30 days. An extensive cross tabulation of the respondent sample data was conducted in order to identify major trends, demographic/behavioral themes, and other nuances in the data.