How technology is helping deliver a great customer experience in the drive thru.

The pandemic motivated a huge increase in drive thru traffic in 2020, with the NPD Group reporting a 26 percent increase across April, June, and July alone. According to Rob Meiner, technical sales engineer at Peerless-AV, that’s not a trend that’s soon to change, and he thinks franchisees and operators need to prepare accordingly.

In particular, he thinks it will be pivotal for franchisees to produce an optimal customer service experience in the drive thru despite the lack of face-to-face interaction.

“Brands are having to find ways to deliver the frictionless experience consumers expect from quick-service restaurants,” Meiner says. “They’re also trying to give a guest experience as though they were coming into the restaurant and having that 1-to-1 interaction, but delivering that experience in the drive thru.”

One of the technologies that’s helping operators accomplish this goal is digital signage, which can be used as a customer service tool to ensure a personalized, positive experience for each customer. Meiner and his team work with corporate franchises, their operators, and partners to help develop content strategies and implementation of digital signage and digital menuboards that can help them suggestively sell, seamlessly daypart, and even play dynamic video content to enhance the brand experience.

A recent development that has Meiner excited is the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies that are helping brands understand the psychology of a customer in the drive thru. In turn, that helps build a menu tailored toward showcasing items where the eye is most likely to be drawn.

“This can function in a lot of different ways, but some brands are using a decoy system that presents a higher priced menu item where the customer is most likely to begin looking at a menu, and then draws the eye down to a mid-priced meal,” Meiner says. “It can help serve as a predictive technology that makes it easier for the back of house to turn an order around quicker, too, and all of that enhances both speed of service and customer satisfaction.”

As the traffic at the drive thru increases, so do the stakes, and digital signage’s ability to be agile and help assist the customer service experience means it’s only trending upward. Meiner and his team know that it’s never been more important for restaurant owners to have all the tools they need at their disposal to provide that exemplary experience, and he says Peerless-AV has the expertise and proven track record to do so.

“Whether you’re a quick-service restaurant chain, a franchisee, or a standalone mom and pop, Peerless-AV has always been able to provide the digital signage components necessary to drive content to each customer’s needs,” Meiner says. “It’s customization that sets us apart, as well as the durability and reliability of Peerless-AV’s Xtreme Outdoor Digital Menu Boards. These all-weather rated, outdoor units offer a low operating cost, high bright display output, thin profile, modular design, and an easy, two-man installation process.”

For more information on how to improve the drive thru experience with digital signage solutions, visit

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