It’s no secret drive-thru is one of the most profitable parts of a quick-service restaurant, but it’s crucial for restaurants to ensure every element works together to create a cohesive brand experience.

“Building the restaurant brand has always been key,” says Robert Creasy, vice president of business development at DSA Signage. “The drive thru makes up 60 to 70 percent of restaurant sales. Driving the brand message outside is just as important as driving it inside.”

This means it’s crucial for brands to ensure drive-thru signage is easy to read, well-designed, and easy for the store team to manage, but what that looks like for each restaurant may be different, even from store to store. Take Slim Chickens, for instance. The brand now operates 86 locations, with over 350 locations in development throughout 19 states, the UK, and the Middle East. 

Though static signage was a key component of the brand’s messaging strategy early on, with its monumental growth, Slim Chickens leadership decided it was time to upgrade its drive-thru to digital to streamline operations.

“As we grow, I want to make it easier for our operators to engage diners in the drive-thru, so we decided to eliminate the use of static printed panels,” says Greg Smart, chief brand officer, co-founder, and partner of Slim Chickens. 

Slim Chickens partnered with DSA Signage to provide a complete digital drive-thru experience. Now, not only can Slim Chickens display different products and show how they are made, but the restaurant can change offers for each market or store. For example, Smart says Slim Chickens might use the board to call attention to a cold iced tea on a hot day. 

“Someone in our marketing team can make changes and upload them in moments,” Smart says. “It’s so much easier than working with a printer to proof and ship materials and then rely on operators to install panels. This technology allows us a lot of flexibility in our daypart strategy, too.”

Yet what works for each brand won’t be the same solution that works for another. That’s why it’s crucial to work with signage partners who can help restaurants tailor drive-thru strategies to their specific needs. 

“At DSA, we provide customized drive-thru solutions including both static and digital options,” Creasy says. “We provide recommendations based on our customer’s objectives. Sometimes the best solution is to combine the benefits of both static and digital. Static is a consistent experience while Digital allows flexibility, engages the customer and gets results.”

From start-to-finish DSA works with restaurants to determine which solutions they need, from menu and pre-sell boards to canopies, clearance bars, and everything in between. By customizing strategies for each brand, DSA helps restaurants ensure they reach peak drive-thru performance.

“My construction managers love working with DSA, because the company always comes in on-budget and on-time, their equipment is easy to use, and they walk you through each step of the process,” Smart says. “DSA digital solutions have given us the flexibility we need to increase check size, showcase products, and improve ordering speeds with our digital signage.

By Peggy Carouthers.

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