The pandemic rapidly accelerated consumers’ comfort with mobile ordering and consumer-facing technology. At the same time, investment in electric vehicles (EVs) and the infrastructure needed to make them ubiquitous is finally gaining steam.
As more people purchase EVs, they’ll need spaces to charge them. Charging providers partnering with quick-serve restaurants is a logical solution that benefits everyone involved. Here, SG Ellison, president of Diversified Restaurant Group (who operates over 300 Taco Bell and Arby’s restaurants) shares why his company partnered with ChargeNet Stations to bring rapid EV charging stations to the restaurant industry.
What are the main benefits of having a ChargeNet Station to both quick-serve operators and customers?
Drivers can quickly and easily pull off, charge the car, and enjoy a meal at the same time—it’s all about the convenience factor.
In addition, we are exploring the ability for ChargeNet Stations’ App to integrate with a restaurant brand’s app or point-of-sale (POS) system. This will allow operators to gain operational insights and also customize and target offers to those same EV drivers.
What financial and sustainability benefits does a ChargeNet Station give the franchisee access to?
With the increase in mobile and pickup orders, our larger parking lots are underused. ChargeNet Stations offers an opportunity to put that space to use at no risk to us.
As a bonus, we’re helping the environment. We are accommodating EVs, which reduce fossil fuels, and, using solar we are using clean energy to charge clean energy. We’ll be able to run part of the store off that clean energy and receive reduced energy costs from the utility company. Whatever we don’t use, goes back into the utility grid, completing the sustainability circle.
We’re also exploring partnerships with third-party delivery services who are incorporating EVs into their fleets. This can yield a benefit to their drivers as well as to our restaurants.
How do the stations affect employee workflow?
In everything we do, we look for how an initiative can improve the team member (employee) experience. With more digital order points, customers don’t have to stand in long lines to order their food, which reduces staff anxiety and makes interactions in the restaurant less stressful. This means more effort and care preparing the food, ensuring orders are accurate, or cleaning the restaurant. Additionally, we know our team members appreciate working for a company that does good for the community.
What’s the initial investment?
ChargeNet Stations’ business model incorporates everything you need to get the project done. They handle the development, engineering, construction, and software. Our initial investment thus far has been our time, working with ChargeNet CEO Tosh Dutt and the team to ensure we are implementing the best system possible. We’re excited to start seeing the benefits we expect in energy savings and credits, brand image, and industry innovation.
To learn more about how EV charging can help your restaurant, visit chargenetstations.com/franchisees.