With drive-thru business up, greater efficiency is necessary.

Long after pandemic lockdowns, drive-thru and off-premises orders continue to take a larger slice of total sales—and restaurants are changing to accommodate their customers’ needs. Some brands are expanding and perfecting drive-thru lanes, while others are focusing on mobile orders via third parties and loyalty programs. Operators must figure out how to provide the same level of excellent service in these new configurations while managing the current ongoing fluctuations in labor.

To navigate the challenges of higher traffic through multiple order points, it’s more important than ever for restaurant teams to be able to communicate seamlessly with each other. “Restaurants are evolving in shape and size, which means communication needs are changing, too,” says Jason Bertellotti, president of HME Hospitality and Specialty Communications. “A total solution for restaurant communication enables operators to manage the significantly higher volumes more effectively at every touchpoint—mobile order and curbside pickup, walk-up windows, drive-thru lanes, front counter, dine-in service, and any additional service areas.”

Brands are also beginning to test the capabilities of artificial intelligence (ai) voice ordering systems. Amid staffing fluctuations, voice AI allows teams to increase operational efficiency and focus on other important duties while the system automatically takes customers’ orders and sends them to the POS to process. Crew members can be relocated to stations where personable, face-to-face interactions will have the greatest impact on customer service and satisfaction. “By integrating AI voice ordering solutions with your NEXEO | HDX platform, you provide an additional tool to help your team succeed,” Bertellotti says.

A comprehensive restaurant communications platform keeps crews connected to key areas of the operation, and it can integrate with other solutions like voice AI providers and timer systems. “A total solution is about providing critical information to key staff when it matters most,” Bertellotti says. “Whether you’re calling a crew member to clean up a spill in the dining area or delivering alerts from your timer to your headset, a total communication solution enables your team to increase efficiency and provide a greater customer experience.”

The NEXEO | HDX platform is one such solution. It delivers fully digital end-to-end audio, eliminating hum and noise even to voice AI systems. NEXEO | HDX’s Digital Audio enhances the drive-thru ordering experience, allowing the AI system to “hear” customers in high-definition audio—critical to ensuring order accuracy. Cloud connectivity also helps operators remotely manage and future-proof their entire store base. As their business and technology needs grow, NEXEO | HDX will grow with them, delivering advanced technology and functionality to support their ever-changing needs.

Other features of the NEXEO | HDX platform include tap-to-connect headset registration, unlimited headset pairing, color touchscreen display, system diagnostics, and integration with the HME ZOOM Nitro Timer, which audibly alerts team members when certain metrics need their attention. “NEXEO | HDX delivers critical information—from other systems and team members—to key employees when it matters most,” Bertellotti says.

To learn more, visit hme.com/nexeo

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