What does this mean? It’s really pretty straightforward: restaurant brands should invest in easier-to-read menuboards. Also, without changing menu items or pricing, brands would be well served to improve perceptions of food quality, which, in turn, could lift perceptions of value.
Interior menuboards collected higher overall “excellent” ratings (27 percent) than drive thrus (20 percent) and also polled higher in “encouraging bigger orders” at 55 to 47 percent.
If you consider many quick-serves see upward of 70 percent of business at the drive thru, the data suggests a new point of emphasis. There’s room to grow at the very least.
Viewing the lower end of the scale, more interior menuboards (15 percent) did not have “enough information” compared to drive-thru menuboards (5 percent).
One thing about the “encouraging bigger orders” note: It’s worth thinking how order-ahead functionality could play a role in closing this drive-thru gap. Few things in this universe are worse than pulling up behind a car that orders 40 hamburgers. You sit for 10 minutes as they’re tacking pickles off seven off them, adding mustard to another 13, etc, and the nightmare continues. Many chains have fixes in place like, “pull your car up or to the side and we’ll bring the food when it’s ready.” But those are Band-Aid realities that don’t satisfy every customer, especially younger ones who don’t major in attention spans. And these practices definitely don’t work for every employee.
In a convenience-crazed landscape, offering customers the ability to order ahead and simply roll up and grab their food, is a powerful tool to wield for quick-serves. It not only accelerates the process for guests—it gives operators a heads up and allows workers to stay ahead before they get bottled up and buried in orders, all while the clock is ticking. While it’s unrealistic to think every consumer will use order-ahead functionality (that 40-burger ordeal will always exist) it can’t hurt to have the option available. Especially since your competitors will surely get it soon.
Quick-serves and fast casuals: head to head
Some intriguing differences popped between the segments.