Before the pandemic, consumers flocked to the drive thru for its speed and convenience. But when dine-in service closed abruptly, the drive thru quickly became a lifeline for quick-service restaurants and the primary option to grab a meal. Today, the drive thru is busier than ever, with high traffic volumes that are expected to continue well into the future. For operators looking to ensure that their drive-thru operation is equipped to support the new traffic trends and maximize profitability, HME’s new video detection could be the answer.
“Video detection reduces blind spots and provides a more complete view of drive-thru operations,” says Jason Bertellotti, senior vice president of sales and service at HME Hospitality & Specialty Communications. “It’s an easy add-on to the ZOOM Nitro timer that enables expanded vehicle tracking to measure customer experience time from well before they reach the menuboard, in pull forward spaces, and at curbside and mobile order pickup locations.”
ZOOM Nitro is an in-store dashboard that empowers managers to diagnose and solve drive-thru performance issues in real time. The newly available video detection technology is specially developed to complement ZOOM Nitro as well as existing loop detectors for more extensive and cost-effective vehicle tracking. By adding video detection to ZOOM Nitro systems already in place, operators maximize coverage with minimal investment. Cameras are installed on the roof of a restaurant and positioned to capture specific points like the pre-menu and mobile order pickup areas.
When the number of cars in line increases and creates a pre-menu bottleneck, the potential for drive-offs and lost business increases. However, video detection enables operators to seamlessly expand their timer’s visibility to bring awareness to the pre-menu area, or any specific problem area, and know exactly how many cars are waiting to place an order.
“High traffic volumes are leading to longer queues, and most restaurant drive-thru lanes were not built to support these higher numbers,” Bertellotti says. “The order point can too easily become a bottleneck, making the pre-menu area a high-risk zone for drive-offs. When we bring awareness to all areas of the drive thru, we empower teams with the information they need to take action and dramatically improve their drive-thru performance.”
Restaurants can seamlessly add HME’s video detection into their existing ZOOM Nitro drive-thru ecosystem, enabling all vehicle detection methods to work in unison and thoroughly cover their operation from parking lot entry to exit. This means operators can accurately gauge total experience times and gather actionable insight to maximize car counts and support an influx of customers.
“A longer drive-thru queue does not have to mean a slower drive thru,” Bertellotti says. “With the right teams and technologies, restaurants can provide a fast and friendly experience from the moment customers join the drive-thru queue or park in an order pickup spot, to the moment they take off with their order in hand.”
To learn how video detection can improve your operation, visit hme.com/timers.
– By Rachel Pittman